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p 



THE GIFT OF HIS DAUGHTER 
ALICE ^^^^^^^^^^^Vl 



Piney Ridge Cottage 



U s '^^-7^6, r,i ^ 



Copyright 1912 
By NEPHI ANDERSON 



INTRODUCTORY. 



"Monnonism" has been a distinct influence 
in the world now for exactly eighty-two years. 
During this time it has become a great and nota- 
ble institution ; formed a people, unique in many 
respects ; given direction to tens of thousands of 
minds ; shaped destinies ; created an atmosphere, 
an environment, the like of which you can find 
nowhere else; has impressed on its adherents, 
consciously or unconsciously, a philosophy of 
life, an outlook on the world. 

Here then is the raw material for a literature 
absolutely unique. Here is a means of untold 
wealth, awaiting the discovering genius and the 
transforming touch of modem labor and mach- 
inery. It surpasses in literary opportimity 
that which made fame for the authors of the 
Luck of Roaring Camp," the **Octopus," the 
Virginian," the "Gentleman from Indiana," 
the Winning of Barbara Worth," **A Certa^in 
Rich Man," the "New England Nun," and scores 
of other works of fiction which have their setting 
in this or that part of the country, and which 
depict characters and scenes peculiar to a given 
locality. We may go even further than this. 
We have that in our community life and religion 
which ought to produce literature with the uni- 
versal note. 

But there are two things that hinder the 
development of pure literature among us. The 
first is the hesitancy with which many of our 
people take up fiction and poetry. We are a 
sober, an earnest, almost a puritan people, and 



it 



INTRODUCTION. 



it is hard for us to exercise patience with that 
which is not facU and we forget that artistic 
truth may be really higher than a mere fact. 
And then, too, if a story like this of Mr. Ander- 
son's, be m local color, its reading public is bound 
to be comparatively small, even if most **Mor- 
mon" families buy it. No writer among us today 
therefore, can live wholly by his pen. And until 
our writers can live wholly by their pen, devot- 
ing all their mind and heart and leisure to creat- 
ive work, we cannot expect to see them do the 
best of which they are capable in literature. 

I plead, therefore, for more encouragement 
of our nome writers. If we are to have anything 
substantial and permanent in our literature, we 
must do it ourselves. For although outsiders are 
beginning now to use this raw material of ours, 
stffl they cannot do anything of real and lasting 
value, no matter how much art they put into 
their work, because they are outsiders, lacking 
the sympathetic insight with what they try to 
depict— which is indispensable to high creative 
work. 

Let us be loyal to our own. Let us lend 
encouragement to him who lives by the sweat of 
his brain, as we are already loyal to him who lives 
by the sweat of his brow. Let us imbibe and 
help our children to imbibe, the influence that 
comes from work which has been beaten out 
on our home anvils under an impulse which has 
come from our own morality and high serious- 
ness. 

John Heney Evans. 
» 

Salt Lake City, Utah, April, 1912. 



Piney Ridge Cottage 



The Love Story of a** Mormon" Country Girl 



CHAPTER I. 

Piney Ridge lay as a dot of green against the 
gray hillside. AR around it stretched a barren, 
unplowed country. At the back loomed the 
mountains, in front the sage-brush covered plain 
extended for many miles to the low hills on the 
other side of the valley. The nearest railroad 
station, that of Croft, was fifteen miles away in 
that direction. 

Strangers who had driven for the first time 
across those far-reachmg plains, had wondered 
at so much land lying unoccupied. **Why," one 
had exclaimed, **here is room for a nation! And 
these young trees"— meaning the sage-brush— 
"what a forest there will be when these grow 
up!" This was before irrigation had conquered 
the desert, or dry-farming had been made a suc- 
cess in this arid region of western America. The 
great **Flat" is now covered with fields of wheat 
and alfalfa, while shade trees and young orchards 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 



break the monotonous level of the land ; but Piney 
Ridge, at the time of which we write, was but one 
of the green spots miles apart, which bordered 
that sage-brush plain. 

The wagon road led from the station of Croft 
straight across the Flat to the Ridge which formed 
one of the foot-hills to the mountains farther on. 
Here a narrow valley opened from the hills on to 
the Flat. In this valley flowed, during the winter 
and spring, a small stream. To get to Piney 
Ridge one followed this stream or stream bed 
for a few miles, until a dugway was reached 
which led up from the valley to the higher ground 
on the right. Once on top of the bench, Piney 
Ridge came into view. If the season was right 
one would then see a most beautiful sight. Piney 
Ridge cottage stood close to where the side hill 
reached the level bench land. The house, small 
but architecturally correct, painted white, nestled 
m a bower of green. At the rear on the slope 
grew low bushes ; farther up a few cedars spread 
their branches; and standing in a nearly straight 
row, were exactly twelve pine trees, reaching 
above the dwarfed shrubbery and low-gi'owing 
cedars. These pines, the only ones to be seen in 
the valley, had given Piney Ridge its name. 

In front of the house was a garden,a small part 
nearest the house being enclosed by a white- 
painted picket f ence,the rest of the fence being of 
barbed-wire. Within the first enclosure were 
grass, tiny gravel walks, and plats of flowers. 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 



The larger space contained fruit trees, between 
which were rows of vegetables, On one side of 
the cottage was a pole corral and a good-sized 
bam. Then farther out in front and on the side 
away from the narrow valley were small fields of 
hay, grain and potatoes. 

A nearer view of the house dispelled the first 
impression that it was built of white stone, 
revealing the fact that the lumber had been well 
smoothed and painted. A porch shaded the front 
door and windows. Above this porch a large 
dormer-window projected from the attic story. 
A glass door opened from this on to the porch, 
which was here railed in. Plain white curtains 
hung at all the windows, the blinds being drawn 
on the sunny side. A climbing vine partly cov- 
ered the porch, reaching to the railing above. 

One evening in the middle of May, Piney Eidge 
lay in its usual solitude. The day had been hot, 
and when the sun neared the wegtem hills, the 
pearly distance became tinged with warmer col- 
ors. The door of the upper room opened, and a 
young woman stepped out on to the porch. 

As she stood there in the glow of the setting 
sun, she added the touch of life needed to com- 
plete the beautiful evening picture. Slender she 
was, but not tall; lithe and rounded in limbs, 
erect; she had brown hair, dark brown eyes, an 
oval face, pearly teeth; her complexion was also 
a brown, not wholly caused by burning sun or 
the plentiful supply of freckles. The young 



8 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

woman shaded her eyes with her hand as she 
looked across the Flat. Then she seated herself 
on the railing, still looking out over the plain, as 
if she were expecting someone. 

The girl hummed softly to herself while she 
waited, playing with the vine on the railing, and 
now and then raising her head to listen more 
attentively. The unclouded sun sank to rest, 
burnishing with its last rays Old Thunder's rug- 
ged head, and bathing all the land beneath with 
rosy hues. The color then left the earth, linger- 
ing yet awhile in the sky. The grayness deep- 
ened. The soft tones of color harmonized with 
the Sabbath-like silence. Peace brooded over 
earth and sky and human hearts. There came to 
the listening girl seated on the upper porch the 
musical tinkling of a sheep's bell, and from the 
hillside the faint trickling of falling water and 
the sleepy chirp of insects. The low of a cow 
came as thunder on the solitude and awoke the 
young woman to a realization that, regardless of 
all this solemn beauty of earth and sky, it was 
milking time. 

The girl disappeared from the upper porch and 
presently came out of the side door with milking- 
pail in hand. She ran lightly to a nearby field, 
where by the bars stood two patient cows. She 
patted them, and spoke to them endearingly, 
fetched a three-legged stool from a fence comer, 
placed it in position, pushed her head into a warm 
flank and in a very few minutes the milk foamed 




PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



toward the top of the pail. Her task was soon fin- 
ished, and the brimming pail was taken to the 
milk-house, in the side-hill by the spring, through 
which the cool water flowed in a wooden trough. 
She strained away the new milk, then skimmed a 
pan, taking the cream and milk with her back to 
the house. 

The young woman lighted a lamp, placing it on 
the cold cook stove while she spread a white cloth 
over the oil cloth-covered kitchen table. She re- 
placed the lamp and put the pitcher of milk on one 
side and the smaller one of cream on the other. 
Then she set two bowls with spoons in beside the 
pitchers, and heaped a plate with large slices of 
bread. A vase containing flowers she took from 
a shelf and set in the center of the table. Supper 
was ready. 

Presently there was a rattle of wheels in the 
yard. The girl hurried to the open door and 
peered into the dark. She heard two men's voices 
instead of the expected one, so she listened 
keenly. The horses were unhitched and turned 
into the pasture, and in a few minutes two men 
came into the house. 

**Well, my girl, have I kept you waiting?" 
asked one. 

**Not long, father," replied the girl, **but you 
are a little late." 

"Yes; blame Brother Sanders here. I had to 
call around to get him." 

The speaker was a man past middle age, me- 



10 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

dium sized, given to leanness. He wore a full 
but neatly trimmed beard, in which gray pre- 
dominated. John Sanders was a younger man, 
heavy set, and slow of speech. He stood hat 
in hand, and the father, Hugh Elston, had to 
bring him a chair before he would sit down. 

"We'll have to have another bowl, Julia. 
Brother Sanders will eat bread and milk with 
us." 

The third bowl and spoon were placed in po- 
sition, together with a plate and a knife. While 
the men were out at the rear washing, the girl 
ran to the milk house and brought back a pat 
of butter and some slices of cold meat which ! 

she placed on the table. 

Then the three sat down to supper. The father 
asked the blessing, and as soon as he had raised 
his head, he said: , 

"Now, help yourself. Brother Sanders. Our 
evening meal is very simple, but I can assure you 
the bread is good and the butter is good, too. 
Julia can't be beat in bread-making." 

The father and Julia broke their bread into 
their bowls, and the visitor followed their exam- 
ple. Then they poured milk on the bread, and 
topped it with cream from the smaller pitcher. ! 

"Now, Brother Sanders," continued Mr. Els- 
ton, "help yourself to meat, and don't be afraid 
of the butter. There isn't much of it, but Julia 
and I eat just bread and milk for supper." 

Oh, I like bread and milk," replied the other. 



((i 



PINET RIDGE COTTAGE 



"Here, put some cream on it. We like it that 
way. It Isn't quite right without the cream. 



12 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

them. You'd better tell her your plans, Brother 
Sanders." 

"What's the troubled' asked Julia. 

"Well, you see,'' explained the trustee, "Miss 
Jones has to leave in a week. She can't finish 
her term, she says. . We don't want the school 
to close now, 'cause the little children's jest get- 
tin' a start. We thought we'd like to run the 
school for six week yet, an' mebby more. The 
superintendelit says that teachers is scarce — don't 
know where to get one now — ^and we thought you 
might be able to teach the school." 

Julia pushed her bowl away and sat back in 
astonishment at this. The father looked at her 
closely. 

"Why," she said, "I can't teach school. I 
don't know enough. Besides—" 

"Oh," interrupted the trustee, "most of the 
biggest scholars have already quit, an' you know 
it doesn't take so much learin' to teach the little 
tads. My girl Sarah 'lowed she could do it, but 
as she hasn't got through the seventh grade yet, 
I don't think it would do. But you graduated 
from the eighth grade last year, didn't you!" 

"Yes; but. Brother Sanders," protested the 
girl, "that isn't much. You've got to know a lot 
to teach school— besides I haven't a certificate." 

"Oh, that can be arranged for," continued 
Brother Sanders. "I saw the superintendent and 
he said he could give you a permit until the next 
examination." 






PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 13 

**I couldn't take an examination— I'd be too 
scared." 

**You don't have to if you get a permit— not 
yet. Your pa thinks you would be be all right." 
Yes, Julia," replied the father to her look. 
I think you can teach the children, but, of 
course, it all rests with you." 

**And who'd keep house for you?" she asked. 

*'We'll get along." 

**And how would I get to school?" 

'*Our children drive every morning," replied 
Brother Sanders. **They could call for you— 
now we're dependin' on you. Shall I say you will 
come?" 

*'What shall I say, father?" , 

**1'11 let you know tomorrow. Brother Sanders," 
answered the father. *'That will be time enough, 
won't it?" 

**0h, yes. Well, I must be going. My horse 
wants to get home, too, I hear." They followed 
him into the yard. 

**Good night; let us know tomorrow. We'll 
depend on you," he shouted as he galloped oflE. 

When they came back into the house Julia did 
not as usual gather up the few dishes and wash 
them; she sat and looked at her father in an 
odd way. 

*'You look pretty sober, my girl," he laughed 
good-naturedly. 

"I'm afraid already— how can I? Suppose that 
Bill Johnson or Tom Henries should come to 



14 MNEY RiDGE COTTA(>E 

school. They are as old as I am— why— '' she 
laughed outright at the thought. 

**I understand that only the little children are 
attending, as Brother Sanders said, and there are 
only a few of them. It will be a good experience 
for you— I fear you get lonesome here some- 
times.'' 

"Not a bit of it, father— but if you think I can 
doit,riltry." 

"That's the way to talk. You'll succeed. What 
you had better do is to visit the school a day or 
two, and take notice how Miss Jones does it. She 
might give you some pointers and lend you some 
books to read that will help you. I'll take you 
down myself tomorrow." 

Then while the father did some chores outside, 
Julia washed the bowls and made everything 
orderly for the night. Usually she sang as she 
did these simple duties, but this evening she was 
quiet. Her tasks ended, she placed a paper shade 
over the lamp and drew her father's easy chair up 
to the table. From an oil-cloth covered box in 
the comer she took her father's slippers and put 
them by the door. Then from the paper holder 
she drew a bundle of mail matter. Two papers 
and a letter she laid at her father's place, while 
she examined a magazine. 

The father soon came in, put on his slippers, 
and took his place by the table. He adjusted his 
glasses, opened and read the letter. Then he 
glanced at the "JVetc^s," but did not read long. 






PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 15 

He saw that Julia was not reading. He put 
down the paper, pushed his glasses up on his 
forehead, and met his daughter's look across the 
table. 

*'Did I ever tell you that I have taught schools 
he asked. 

^No; why, father, I never knew that!" 

'Yes ; I was a school teacher for a week. That 
was twenty-five years ago, but I remember that 
week yet." 

**Qt) on— tell me about it." 

**I was a school trustee down where I lived 
before 1 moved up here to Piney Ridge. One 
cold winter day just before Christmas, I received 
word that the teacher was sick. I went to the 
school that morning to tell the children they 
would have to go home again. Such an announce- 
ment is usually met with a good deal of noisy 
glee, but, strange to say, most of the boys and 
girls were disappointed. I learned the reason for 
this when a number of the large boys and girls 
gathered round me, explaining that a spelling 
contest was on, and that that week was to see its 
finish. I learned that there were rival sides, and 
the rivalry had become intense. A good part of the 
day for a week was to have been taken to decide 
the contest, for nearly the whole spelling book 
was to be gone through. Wouldn't I be the 
teacher, and give out the spelling? they asked. 
That was all that would be required ; that was 
easy, they clamored. So I promised. 



16 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

**Well, for five days that school did nothing but 
spell. We held but one session a day, from 
twelve to two, but all that time we spelled. In 
order to give everybody a chance and keep up 
the game for some time, the sides ranged along 
opposite walls. When a word was missed but 
spelled by another of the same side, that side was 
*saved;' but if one on the opposite side spelled 
a missed word, the speller had a right to choose 
one from the other side to come over to his. This 
was continued for some time, usually resulting 
in much exchanging of the best spellers. Then all 
were spelled down, and school was over for the 
day.'' 

"And all you had to do was to read the words 
from the book!" asked Julia. 

"Well, yes; but I soon learned that it took 
skill and tact to control the school, especially 
when the contests become close and exciting. 
There were difficulties to settle, too. As it has 
been so long ago, many of the details have 
slipped from me, but I remember quite distinctly 
one incident." 

"Yes." 

"I suppose that every school has one or more 
bullies. We had one— I have forgotten his name. 
In the final test he was soon down, because he 
could bluster better than he could spell. The 
girls, as usual, were the best spellers, and on that 
Friday afternoon the two who stood up longest 
were of the older girls. One of these girls I had 



CHAPTER n. 

The morning sun climbed into the blue sky 
back of Piney Bidge. Shadows from the pines 
lay over the house and reached into the garden. 
Julia had been a long time getting asleep the 
night before, so she had overslept herself this 
morning. With consternation she saw the sun 
high in the heavens. She hurriedly dressed and 
came down stairs, only to find the cows milked 
and breakfast over for her father, who was 
already at work in the field. 

It would be some hours yet before time to go 
to the school. After nibbling a little breakfast 
herself and clearing away the dishes, she went 
back to her room. She pushed up the blinds 
and opened the door to the fresh morning air. 
The twitter of nest-building birds came from the 
nearby tree. There was a fresh cheeriness in the 
morning. 

Julia's room shared in the uncommonness of 
Piney Ridge cottage. The walls and ceilings 
were plastered. The wall paper was devoid of 
highly-colored *'posy'' effects. 

The woodwork was stained to imitate rose- 
wood. A serviceable, but not expensive carpet 
covered the floor. The white enameled iron bed 
stood near the curtained window. A dresser 
occupied the largest wall space. In the comer 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 19 

near the outside door stood a home-made book 
ease, the lower shelves stacked with magazines, 
and the upper shelves filled with books. A read- 
ing and work table and a low rocker received the 
best light near the glass door. A framed Ma- 
donna by Murillo hung on the wall on one side of 
the dresser, on the other side '*The Gleaners'' 
had the place of distinction. Of course, there 
were the usual girls' trinkets and finishing 
touches of ornamentation. 

Julia's room was an index to the whole house. 
Upstairs there was one imfinished room. The 
ground floor contained a bedroom, a front room, 
a small kitchen and a large living room. All of 
these were finished and furnished tastefully. 
Visitors to Piney Ridge cottage looked their won- 
der to find here in the midst of a wilderness of 
sage-brush, many of the comforts and signs of 
good taste usually found only in more favored 
places. 

And Hugh Elston, reading their thoughts, 
would say, ''Culture is not altogether the result 
of physical environment. This little home of ours 
is only an example of the predominance of mind 
over matter. When we came here there was a 
little wild brush on the hill-side, some cedars, 
those twelve pines, and the spring. Around us 
encircled the desert. I enlarged the spring and 
obtained a stream large enough for irrigation. 
That, of course, has been the magic touch. We 
have forced back the desert, not allowing its dis- 



20 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

integrating power to encroach upon us. That is 
the usual trouble with isolated dwellers like us, 
they let the wilderness get the upper hand, and 
their lives become as wild and uncouth as their 
environment. It is easier for us to live up to our 
ideals because we have made our immediate 
environment to help us.*' 
"But you are a long way from civilization." 
*'0h, no. We are only fifteen miles from the 
railroad, and that places us in close touch with 
the world. We have a twice a week mail service. 
There is no reason that we can not have every 
comfort and convenience we desire and can 
afford. There are only two of us now, and our 
tastes are simple. Some of our neighbors think 
we are extravagant. * ♦ * Oh, yes, we have 
neighbors scattered along the Bidge some miles 
apart. ♦ ♦ ♦ Some of them think our window 
and door screens are a luxury, and that we are 
extravagant in the matter of books and maga- 
zines. But I tell them the money I save in taking 
care of my farm tools and machinery pays three- 
fold for all such things. * * Yes; I'll admit 
that is a gentle hint to them. I only wish they 
would take it more to heart. ♦ * ♦ Well, we 
take all the Church publications and the semi- 
weekly Deseret News. Then, I always like to 
have one of the first-class Eastern magazines. 
1 prefer the Atlantic, but Julia likes Harper's. 
So in order to please us both and keep peace in 
the family, we take them both. ♦ ♦ ♦ Extrav- 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 21 

agant, you also think! Not at all. One good- 
sized calf which the buyer drives off, or one hog 
taken to market, or a load of wheat pays for it 
all— a whole year of intellectual feasting. 'Man 
shall not live by bread alone,' though I'll admit 
that I know some people who think that bread is 
all-sufficient if they can have a little hog fat 
with it." 

Julia remembered some of these remarks of 
her father's that morning, as she looked over 
her books to find, perchance, something on school 
teaching; but there was nothing. She had kept 
her own school books, and she looked at the 
well-worn primers of her beginning days, wond- 
ering how she would be able to teach reading 
from such books. Her higher grade texts were 
more familiar, and the marginal comments in 
some of them, brought her back to many happy 
school-day incidents. Julia had not started to 
school until she was nine years old; but she could 
read then, and she had easily kept up with her 
classes. The last year in the grades had been 
completed in the graded school at the county 
seat, since iwhich time, two years ago, she had 
lived with her father in their home under the 
shadow of the pines. 

The one terrible break in the girl's uneventful 
life had been the death of her mother a number 
of years before. It seemed a long time ago to 
her, but the mother's face lived in her memory 
more real and more beautiful than the Madonna 



22 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

on the wall. The firat years with her mother, 
the latter ones with her father— these had been 
the shaping influences of her life. The big world 
about her had touched her chiefly through the 
medium of the printed page, and so its harsh 
noises came to her subdued; its restlessness, sin 
and misery came to her safe retreat as faint 
echoes from a guilty world. 

Julie rememhered having read something about 
school teaching in the Ladies^ Home Journal^ so 
she began the task of looking for it among the 
big stack in the comer. This magazine had been 
very much of a delight to her. Ladies and gen- 
tlemen moved in stately form through its pages. 
Here was a world far above this common earth, 
at least,of that which lay around Piney Ridge for 
many miles. The people in this world of print 
always spoke and acted with exact propriety. 
None of them would say "aint" or would eat with 
their knives. It was quite improper for a man 
to have a two-days old beard on his face, and it 
was an unpardonable breach of etiquette for a 
man to appear in his shirt sleeves even before 
his wife. Julia had read of these things, won- 
dering whether she could not introduce some of 
this '^higher living" into their own common- 
place lives. She used to discuss these points 
with her father. He was of the opinion that 
people who wrote for the Ladies^ Home Journal 
and like magazines could not enter into the 
needs of the western farmers and ranchers; 



PINEY RIDQE COTTAGE 23 

"however,'' said he, **it's a good thing to have a 
high ideal, even if we can't always reach it. 
Common sense also ought to be mixed plentifully 
with the expression of the idealist who does noth- 
ing but sit at a desk and write out his opinions. 
I, for instance, could always wear my coat at 
table, but it would be pretty uncomfortable, 
especially in the summer, and I'd pay high for 
my bit of style." 

While Julia was looking for something on 
school that morning she came across a printed 
menu card that she had tried to follow. It was 
one of the simplest of the many dinners outlined, 
consisting of five courses only. She laughed 
heartily now at the recollection of that elabor- 
ate meal which she had served her father, try- 
ing to get in all the fancy touches of *'the real 
thing." She remembered that two ''numbers" 
had been added to the menu : a flood of tears 
from her, ending in a merry laugh in which her 
father heartily joined. 

Julia heard her father come into the house. 
He called to her from the foot of the stairs. 

"All right, father," she replied. "Are you 
waiting for me?" 

"No, no; I think we'll have to wait until 
tomorrow to visit the school. I find I can't very 
well get away today. Will that be all right?" 

**Yes— I suppose so," she replied. 

Julia went to the open outer door and looked 
out. She resumed the hummed tune and went 



24 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

down again on the floor among her books. She 
had been disappointed in not being able to carry 
out the original program for the day, but she 
knew it did not matter. A sheet of paper fell 
from her geography. Picking it up, she found it 
was a note Glen Ourtis had written her, asking 
her to go with him to a dance. She remembered 
how the teacher had interrupted the message, had 
read it, and later had given it to her, and how 
embarrassed she had been. She had not dared 
write a note back to him, and as she had been 
too shy to speak to him about it, he had received 
no reply. Glen had quit school shortly after. 
She had received other notes from other boys, 
but she had quickly destroyed them all. There 
seemed to have been something different in 
Glen's note, so she had kept it. 

Julia found the article she was looking for, but 
as it was time to go down stairs and get dinner, 
she did not read it. After dinner she took the 
magazine and went out in the garden. She sat 
down on the rustic seat near the little heart- 
shaped flower bed, and read the article ;but it did 
not treat on primary teachng, so she got very 
little help from it. 

Then she worked for awhile in the garden. 
Her flowers were not doing so well this summer 
—perhaps she had neglected them. This garden 
had originally been laid out by her mother; and 
for her sake the girl had tried to keep it up ; but 
it was quite a care at times. Sometimes the 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 25 

water was scarce, and then the weeds had a 
habit of growing much thriftier than the flowers. 
She trimmed the little walk which curved around 
the grass plats, and carried some water to a 
drooping flower. Then she put on her sun- 
bonnet and walked out past the bam by the water 
ditch which ran along the edge of the hill. Some 
light, fleecy clouds obscured the sun, so she took 
oflE her bonnet. There was a story in the maga- 
zine which she had not read, so she began it as 
she walked along. 

A quarter of a mile from Piney Ridge Cottage, 
along the path Julia was taking, was a grave- 
yard. A stout picket fence enclosed a few rods 
of ground in which were five graves. This grave- 
yard was another example of Hugh Elston's 
"extravagance." From the end of his field in 
that direction, a ditch extended some rods 
through the sage-brush to the enclosure, and in 
this ditch enough of the precious water was sent 
to keep alive some rose and lilac bushes and a 
few square rods of grass. Here Hugh Elston had 
buried his wife, and later he had invited others 
of his distant neighbors who had suffered loss to 
bring their dead and let them sleep in this spot of 
green, rather than in the desolate loneliness of a 
single grave on the dry hill side. 

Julia opened the gate and went into the enclos- 
ure. Her mother's grave was in one comer, and 
the bushes there were large enough to cast a 
shade over the mound. Some hardy flowers 



26 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

bloomed along the edge, and Julia placed near 
the headstone a handful of wild blossoms she 
had gathered on the Way. Then she sat down on 
the grass to finish reading her story. 

Julia, being a girl, liked to read a story— and 
especially a love story. Her father thought it 
part of wisdom not to forbid her reading stories, 
but to furnish her with the best. "First," said 
he, "those that are imbued with the spirit of the 
Gospel," and for that reason he subscribed for 
the Church magazines— then the best that are 
found in the high class magazines of the world. 
These could do no harm, and would give her an 
outlook on the world's thoughts and feelings. 

Out of her reading, Julia had formed her 
ideals, among them being an ide^'l lover. She 
was not foolish enough to think that this lover 
must of necessity come from some city, and be 
clad in fashionable attire. Neither did she fancy 
the brave, dashing cowboy sometimes described 
in her reading. The cowboys whom she had met 
were, as a rule, not the story-book kind. Boys 
there were on the neighboring ranches, and some 
of them she knew very well. A number of them 
attended Sunday School and sometimes they 
came to meeting. A few of them had tried to 
get better acquainted with her, but either they 
lacked tact or courage, or she had discouraged 
them by her strange, distant ways. Perhaps all 
these causes had something to do with the fact that 
Julia Elston was as yet as heart-free as the 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 27 

breezes that played in the tops of the pines. Yet 
she had her ideal, somewhat intangible, a far- 
away something sacred to her that would some 
day be made clearly manifest. 

She finished her story, let the magazine drop to 
the grass, and then she sat looking at the mound 
before her. The story had ended strangely. 
Someone had died, thus solving a vexed prob- 
lem. Yes, she thought, death does sometimes 
solve problems; and then again it creates 
them. Here was her mother. She [remem- 
bered her as a dear soul. She must have been 
good and brave to have been willing to help her 
father make a home in this wilderness. Why had 
they come here? Why had they not lived in the 
city, or at least in some country settlement where 
there was more society? In the beginning it 
must have been hard. There was something in 
the life of her father and mother that she had not 
been told. Her father had always trusted her, 
had in recent years counseled with her on all his 
doings ; but she knew that there was one chapter in 
his life which he desired to remain as if forgotten. 
She had long ago respected that wish— but why 
should she not know ! 

The fleecy clouds melted into the dry, warm 
air, and the sun shone again. The afternoon was 
passing. The lilac bush cast a long shadow over 
the grave. She would have to go home. 

As she sprang to her feet and turned around, 
she gave a scream of fright. A man was stand- 



28 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

ing: outside the fence. He was clean-shaven, 
with a Panama hat tilted back on his head. He 
was leaning against the fence, his arms on the 
pickets, his chin in his hands, looking at her. 
When she screamed, he straightened and $aid : 
"I beg your pardon. I did not mean to frighten 
you." 



CHAPTER m. 

It does sometimes rain dming the summer in 
America's arid region; and that morning as Julia 
and her father were driving across the Flat, the 
clouds hung low, and rumblings of thunder came 
from the west; but it seemed no easy task for 
the clouds to let go their moisture, for there was a 
lot of fuss in the sky before the rain actually 
came. 

The school that Julia was to visit was the lat- 
est to be set in operation in the county. Two 
years before, half a dozen ranchers had peti- 
tioned the county commissioners for a separate 
district, and one that would extend to the rail- 
road so that they might have some valuable prop- 
erty to tax. The request was granted. Trustees 
were appointed until the next election, and they 
set to work. But where to build the schoolhouse 
was the question. It was fifteen miles between the 
two ranchers who had most of the children. The 
dry sage-brush flat lay between. To build it near 
either of these would compel the others to travel 
the whole distance across the district. About 
midway, a spur from the benchland extended on 
to the flat. There was a small spring of water at 
the foot of the hill, and here— not near the 
spring, but on the high and dry hill— the school- 
house was built. It was made of logs smoothed 



30 PINEY RroGE COTTAGE 

on the inside, the chinks filled with plaster. 
The roof was laid with slabs, the roiigh sur- 
face being up, which was covered with clay. 
There were two windows and a door. The floor 
was of planed lumber. The room was furnished 
with a dozen second-hand desks; three large 
charts that the school-supply agent had-convinced 
the trustees were indispensable ; a piece of black- 
board three by six feet; two maps; a rusty stove 
not now in use, therefore placed in a comer; a 
box of crayons; six erasers, made by one of the 
trustees from a sheep's skin; a water-bucket and 
a tin dipper. But the most wonderful piece of 
furniture in the room was a tellurian, a machine 
made of wheels and balls and cranks, meant to 
illustrate the movements of the heavenly bodies. 
The moon had fallen out of its orbit because the 
arm that held it had been broken. The earth 
showed a big hole in its pasteboard side, where 
the North Pole is supposed to be ; but the pros- 
pect of these calamities had not worried the 
energetic asrent who had taken the trustees^ note 
for the price of this section of the solar system. 
Julia and her father found school already in 
session. Horses stood tied to posts and wagons, 
some eating hay, others standing in lazy dejec- 
tion. The visitors fastened their horses and went 
in. Miss Jones received them graciously, while 
the dozen children stared in open-mouthed won- 
der. The scholars were having a lesson in pen- 
manship, and incidentally, they were also to learn 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 31 

wisdom from one of Solomon's sayings, engraved 
at the top of the copy book. This the pupils 
were copying, and Julia noted that the penman- 
ship got poorer in proportion to the distance 
traveled down the page and away from the per- 
fect copy. They ought to see the perfect copy 
every time,* she thought. 

At the noon recess, Miss Jones spoke freely 
about the school, and what Julia would meet as 
helps and hindrances. ^^The children are as 
good as they can be," she said, **and I think you 
will get along. Be firm with them from the 
first— if you wish to be lenient, youUl have plenty 
of time for that; but establish your rule from 
the first. The great drawback here is the equip- 
ment, but we understand this is a beginning, and 
conditions will improve." 

Julia asked if she had some books on teaching 
which she could be studying. 

**Yes; here is *The Art of Teaching,' a good 
book, and helpful, and also Hughes' 'Mistakes in 
Teaching.' " Hugh Elston examined them, then 
said: 

"She'll want to know what to do at the first, 
and not what not to do. This book on mistakes 
will be better for her after a few weeks." 

**I'll make mistakes enough, I suppose," said 
Julia. **I fear I'll make a poor teacher." 

**Not at all," corrected Miss Jones. *'I think 
you'll make a good one, and that's what I told 
Mr. Sanders," 



32 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



**Thank you," replied Julia, **I'll do my best." 

They drove home again before school closed. 
Julia took the borrowed books with her and read 
diligently. She was surprised how interesting 
such prosy subjects became where there was an 
immediate and pressing need for them. 

Having finished its elaborate preparations, the 
rain now began to fall, gently at first, and then 
with stronger swishes of wind. The covers of the 
wagon were fastened, and Julia had to close her 
book. The horses were urged to quicker pace, 
and the mud flew from the wagon wheels. 

"I'm glad I finished the potato patch yester- 
day," said Mr. Elston. '*This rain will be fine 
for the crops. By the way, who was that man at 
the graveyard last evening! " 

Julia looked at her father, reddening just a 
trifle; but the father had no other purpose than 
mere information. 

"He was a stranger, so he said, looking after 
land. He came upon me so suddenly that he 
frightened me, or rather I was so absorbed in a 
story I was reading, that he might have been 
standing looking at me for some time." 

"Did he tell you his name?" 

"No; he had no occasion. He was very nice— 
an educated man from the East, I should judge. 
He asked who lived at Piney Ridge, and ever so 
many questions about us—" 

"Which you answered." 

"Oh, no, father, not all. He said we had a 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 33 

very pretty place, and of course, I agreed with 
him,— isn't Miss Jones a nice ladyf " 

** Julia,'' said her father, ignoring the last ques- 
tion, "I hope you will always remember what I 
so often have told you, to beware of strangers 
that come to this country. All, of course, are 
not adventurers, but many are; and when they 
discover you, a girl with much refinement, out 
here amid a wild country, they become interested 
and inquisitive. I don't blame them, of course, 
but I am talking thus plainly to you, as you know 
I always do." 

**Well, father, you must think,"— she began, 
and then checked herself. "I just spoke to him 
decently. That was all. I shall remember what 
you say." 

She cuddled close to her father, perhaps to get 
away from the rain which beat in on her side of 
the wagon. His arm went around her, and they 
rode along in silence. A drop trickled down her 
brown cheek, which could not have been from 
the rain, as she was well protected from that. 

While Hugh and Julia Elston were driving over 
the Flat towards Piney Ridge Cottage that after- 
noon, the young man whom Julia had met at the 
grave yard was sitting in the railroad station at 
Croft. The train for which he was waiting was 
late. He was the only prospective passenger, 
and he walked impatiently back and forth from 
the door on one side to the window on the other, 
looking at the rain and then up the track. 



34 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



"I thought it never rained in this country/' he 
remarked to the station master, who sat in the 
office, heels on table, pipe in mouth, reading a 
newspaper. There was no answer. Then the 
would-be-traveler opened his grip, took from it a 
tab of paper, made a desk of the low window sill, 
and wrote : 

My Bear Mother: 

As I have an hour yet— perhaps two— to wait 
for my train here in this dirty little station of 
Croft, I will tell you a little of my doings and 
findings. 

Mr. Elston is still alive and well. I had no 
difficulty in finding him. He lives with an only 
daughter, now about nineteen years old, fifteen 
miles from this station, away across a big valley 
where nothing as yet grows but sage-brush. 1 
rode out there yesterday, and stayed around 
**looking for land" until today. Mr. Elston's 
house is known as Piney Ridge Cottage, and I 
must say I was surprised— nay, astonisned at 
what I saw. He has a very neat house— I did 
not get inside— surrounded by gardens and fields. 
His spring of water coming from the hillside just 
above his house is very valuable, I am told. 
This water would irrigate much more land than 
he has under cultivation, but I understand that 
he has all he can take care of. I was captivated 
b^r the place. After traveling for mfles and 
miles through a dry, desert-looking country, to 
come thus suddenly on an oasis in the desert was 
a pleasant sunrise. It is wonderful, with its air 
of silence, of loneliness, of rest from the spirit of 
fretfulness, away from the vulgar, jostling crowd 
of the big, noisy, dirty, ugly city. The money 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 35 



value of the place I don't think would be much 
—not yet. When the country becomes more 
developed/ this spot will no doubt become more 
valuable, but that may be many years yet. There 
are no immediate prospects of any great rise in 
prices out here. 

I did not get to speak to Mr. Elston— I did not 
try; but I had a number of fairly good looks at 
him. He is ageing rapidly, I should say, as his 
beard, wMch he wears full, and his hair are get- 
ting gray. He is held in good repute by the 
ranchers in this part. 

His daughter— her name is Julia, I learned— is 
not what one would call a beautiful girl, but 
there is something about her that is attractive. 
She is brown as a berry, naturally so, I should 
judge. I came across her quite accidentally. 
She was sitting behind some bushes in a small 
cemetery not far from her home. Here I learned 
her mother is buried. She died some years ago. 
The girl was reading a copy of the Ladies^ Home 
Journal— Yfho would have thought to find that out 
here? Well, the class of literature she reads 
gives an idea of what the girl is herself. If I 
remember right you said Mr. Elston was a great 
reader, and I suppose he has trained his daughter 
along that line also. 

The trains out here can never be depended 
upon. It is raining hard now. I am going to 
Salt Lake, where 1 shall have to get some legal 
advice. The marriage relation, as you know, is 
sometimes a mighty complicated thmg out here, 
and I had better see pust what can be done before 
you make any definite move. I shall write you 
again from Salt Lake. 

Later.— The train is still delayed— I have a half 
hour yet to wait, so the grouchy agent just told 
me This waitmg wouldn't be so tiresome if I 



36 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



were out at Piney Ridge Cottage. I imagine it is 
neat and cosy inside — ^I mean to see it on my 
next visit. It has just occurred to me that there 
might be another and an easier way for us to 
accomplish the business in hand, rll tell you 
more about that as things develop. Julia is a 
mighty attractive girl, quite different from the 
average out here. Well, you see, dear mother, I 

!et around to the girls again — ^this is only a hint, 
'he agent has taken his heels from the 
table, and I suppose that is an indication that 
the train is coming. 

Yours affectionately, 

Chester. 



CHAPTEE IV. 



38 PlNEVr KIDGE COTTAGE 

lem. Brother Sanders was chairman of the board, 
and he by right of his oflBce, presented the ques- 
tion formally to the meeting. 

*'We hadn't thought of the name before," he 
said, *'but I can see now that it's a mighty 
important matter. I've been thinkin' about it 
some, and the more I think about it the more 
important it gets. The name we give to this here 
deestrict will in time be the name given to the 
Church ward, and later to the town when one is 
built; so the name will go down to our posterity. 
Have you thought of a name?" 

Trustee Johnson hadn't thought of any; 
Trustee Turchi remarked that **most of the 
places round here are named after some 
creek — there's Bear Creek, an' Muddy Creek, an' 
Eocky Creek an' a lot more. How'd Cub Creek 
do for ours!" 

**But Where's the creek?" asked Trustee 
Johnson. 

"An' Where's the cub?" asked Chairman 
Sanders. 

Trustee Turchi did not know, though he had 
himself seen a cub bear on the point where they 
were to build the schoolhouse. 

"How does Cub Point sound?" asked Trustee 
Johnson. 

"Oh, no," answered the chairman, that won't 
do. Let's see, there's that spring under the hill, 
what do we call it?" 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 39 

** 'Tisn'tbig enough to have a name," remarked 
Trustee Turchi. 

**If Piney Ridge came in our deestriet/' said 
Trustee Sanders — "but it donH." 

The meeting closed without coming to any con- 
clusion, and it was not until the second meeting 
of the board that they decided to name the dis- 
trict and the schoolhouse after the oldest settler. 
The creeks and springs and points lost out to 
the commonplace name of Thompson. 

So Julia was the teacher at Thompson. For a 
week the trustees did not visit the school; for 
Trustee Sanders suggested she work out her own 
salvation without the fear and trembling which 
would naturally follow a visit from the board of 
trustees. And Julia was glad that she had no visit- 
ors. The second week the county superintendent 
came suddenly to Thompson. When he stepped 
unannounced into the door, Julia became numb 
with fear. But he soon put her at her ease again, 
and before his visit was over, she had received 
from him new light and much help and encour- 
agememt. He took charge of the beginners' class 
and gave her a practical lesson on how to teach 
reading. She was drilling the children on their 
a, b, c's, but he showed her that there was a bet- 
ter and more logical way by teaching whole 
words and sentences from the the first. Quick to 
see the point, Julia understood and was delighted 
with the success which followed her own efforts 
in that line. The superintendent promised, to 



40 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

send her some books on modem methods that 
would help her. 

The third Monday the trustees visited the 
school in a body. Julia was not timid, know- 
ing she had the children well in hand, and she 
thought she was doing fairly well with them. 
The visitors looked and listened with interest,and 
just before the noon recess, Trustee Sanders 
spoke to the children on the advantages they 
were having compared to what their parents had 
enjoyed. He hoped they would study hard, and 
learn their lessons well. He had been pleased 
with the lessons ; he hadn't heard any arithme- 
tic — arithmetic was mighty important, specially 
for the boys. *'Now,whatboy can say the multi- 
plication table?" A number could. *'That's fine. 
This boy say the sixes." The boy did so. *'Now 
say 'em backwards." The boy couldn't. **It's 
important that you learn them any ways; 'cause, 
you see you never know how they will come in lise. 
I'll bet this little girl can say her letters right off. 
Can you? Come and show us." The little girl 
shook her head.. **ButIheard you read— about 
a little bird in the tree. How is it you can read, 
and you don't know your a, b, c's?" 

*'Teacher don't learn 'em to us," she answered. 

Trustee Sanders turned to the teacher inquir- 
ingly, but she only smiled in reply. The other 
visitors did not care to speak, so school was dis- 
missed. The children marched out orderly, **even 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 41 

an improvement on Miss Jones' way," one of the 
oflScials remarked. 

But Trustee Sanders looked with suspicion on 
teaching children to read, without their knowing 
the alphabet. "In the first place, I don't see how 
it can be done," he declared. "Why, they've 
got to know the letters or how can they read? 
That's the way we learned, isn't it?" 

"That's the way, it seems to me, too," agreed 
the second man, while the third remarked, "But 
the little girl did read, didn't she?" So the puz- 
zle grew, and the chairman decided in his own 
mind that this remarkable thing was a subject for 
further investigation. 

Julia took her school problems to her father, 
and together they worked them out. 

She found her father a great help. Many an 
evening she would come home discouraged only 
to receive renewed strength, new ideas, new life 
from him. At first he had relieved her of her 
outdoor duties, but after the first week she had 
requested that she be permitted to milk, at least, 
each evening. 

"But you are tired," he said. 

"Yes, but in a different way," she explained. 
"I want to do something with my hands, to rest 
my brains, I suppose. You don't know how the 
ideas for the morrow's work dance around in the 
foam of the milk pail when I stick my head in 
Bossie's flank." 

Her father laughed at her, and readily said she 



42 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

could milk, knowing that there was wisdom in 
her ways. 

The evening following the trustees' visit, Julia 
and her father sat by the shaded lamp. She told 
him what had occurred. 

**I'm afraid they don't think I'm doing right 
in my beginner's reading," she said, **Brother 
Sanders, I am sure, thought it strange. I had 
some busy work for my first reader class, and I 
heard Brother Johnson ask one of the girls if she 
didn't have a book so that she could study her 
lesson. They thought the class was just playing 
and wasting their time . " 

'*Well," said the father, **they don't under- 
stand. They mean well. You'll have to have 
patience with them, as they have patience with 
you," 

*'Patience and good temper. Yes, they go 
together. I find that a teacher must have both, 
and my stock, as you know, is never very 
large." 

*'It's increasing." 

**I'm glad you think so. I try hard enough — 
and I know it's best. Only yesterday I lost my 
temper, and boxed a boy's ears. I was sorry for 
it afterwards, and I saw plainly that I had 
made a mistake. Oh, the boy deserved it, all 
right, but I am beginning to learn that there 
are other and better ways of punishing." 

As a whole, the days went very pleasantly with 
the young school teacher. The morning air was 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 43 

usually fresh and cool. The road was not trav- 
eled enough to be dusty, and rabbits and some- 
times coyotes kept her company. The log walls 
and clay roof of the schoolhouse prevented the 
room from becoming too warm. Often at noon the 
whole school took their lunches down to the 
spring where there was a little grass and a few 
willows. After eating they played games, and 
** teacher'' took part as eagerly as the rest. The 
trustees had cleaned out the spring, made a box 
and a spout so that cattle would not tread it in. 
The boys especially made the spring their play- 
ground, and they soon had an elaborate system 
of irrigation laid out. The tiny stream was led 
into tinier canals, the main one being two inches 
wide at the bottom, and reaching at least twenty 
feet. From this, branch ditches were led by great 
engineering skill around some steep banks, three 
feet high, to the level upland. When the school 
water-pail was filled from the spring, the whole 
system became dry, but if the pupils were not 
very thirsty, and the spring, therefore, not drawn 
on too heavily, a beautiful little stream would 
glide around the curves at the bank, and then 
spread out over a wheat field, which the boys had 
planted, to the distance of at least three feet. 
Woe to the boy or girl who carelessly stepped on 
this precious toy, made from that most beautiful 
thing to the desert children— flowing water! 

Julia had one or two lazy boys and a number 
of mischievous ones; and she soon discovered 



44 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

that she had to adopt various methods of treat- 
ment. Each boy took turns day about in being 
** water-master" — that is, in seeing that the water 
pail was not allowed to remain empty. She 
created a rivaliy to see which of the boys could 
bring a pail of water from the spring in the least 
time. Whenever the "water-master" took the 
bucket, Julia hung the little clock in full view of 
the school. Then she marked on the board the 
exact time of departure and the minute he again 
stepped into the door. At first the boys did not 
hurry, but when the element of competition grew 
stronger the time was lessened materially. The 
laziest boy had been purposely left to the last 
turn, and when the day came for him to be 
"water-master" the record was, in the opinion of 
many, unbreakable. At least,slow-moving Tommy 
couldn't touch it. But Julia smiled on Tommy 
that morning and said to him, in a low, confiden- 
tial tone, "Break the record!" and Tommy 
smiled back. Not one in that school knew that 
Tommy had been practicing for a week at home 
in running with a full water-bucket. The teacher 
placed the clock as usual and marked the time. 
The school settled for a long wait, but before 
they were aware of it, the "water-master" for the 
day was back with the water, which he placed 
with a bang on the bench. Julia marked the 
returning time, made a quick calculation, and 
then announced. 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 45 

"Tommy has beaten the record, and is cham- 
pion water carrier— who said he was lazy!" 

And Tommy was loudly applauded as he took 
his seat. 

Another of the "lazy" boys was a great rabbit 
hunter. He boasted that he could easily bag 
ten rabbits in a day. He would never think of 
coming home without that number, that is, if 
the weather was fair, and he had a good gun 
and plenty of ammunition. Henry's spelling 
lesson consisted of twenty words each day ; but 
he never could spell more than half of them, try 
as the teacher would to get him to believe other- 
wise. "They're too hard- I can't do it," he 
whined. 

One day Henry was kept in. His spelling had 
been worse than usual, and he knew what was 
coming. He would have to write those abominable 
words over at least six times and then spell them 
orally to the teacher. He was the only one kept 
in. He got out his speller, pencil and note-book, 
ready for work; but the teacher went on with 
her board-cleaning, saying nothing to him. 
Presently she turned to him with a smile— he 
never dreamed what preparatory effort that smile 
had demanded. 

"Henry, your're a pretty good rabbit hunter, 
aren't yout" she asked. 

"Huh, huh — yes ma'am," he corrected. 

"You can bring home ten every night, if you 
have half a chance— that is, if the weather is fine 



a- 



46 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

your gun is all right, and your ammunition does 
not give out?" 

•1 think so/' 

**It would be a pretty lazy day's work, if, every- 
thing being favorable, you should bring home 
only five rabbits." 

*'You bet it would!'' 

The teacher looked steadily at him, still smil- 
ing. *'The weather is fine today, isn't it?" 
^Yes," said the astonished boy. 
^Nothing the matter with your spelling book, 
is there — ^lesson isn't torn out or anything like 
that?" 

I guess not." 

'And your eyesight's good— that is, you can 
see all right, and you haven't got the headache, 
have you?' ' 
No, ma'am." 

'All right, Henry, now go home and think 
about it." 

The boy walked out in a sort of daze which did 
not pass until he nearly reached home. Then it 
dawned on him what she meant. There was an 
improvement in his spelling after that. 

As the weeks passed. Trustee Sanders became 
very much concerned about the new teacher. 
Had they not made a mistake! He had no chil- 
dren learning to read in his family, so he visited 
some of his neighbors. His worst fears were 
realized. Little Jennie Smith could read from a 
book, and yet she could not repeat the alphabet. 



it- 
it 



it- 
it 



PINE Y RIDGE COTTAGE 47 

Jennie's mother had not known this until Trustee 
Sanders called her attention to it. One of the 
older children was present at the examination, 
and he remarked that he had learned to read the 
same way. By further enquiiy it was discovered 
that Miss Jones had taught reading by the same 
method; then the surprise grew. *'Did Miss Jones 
allow the children to play in school with paper 
and sticks!" Not so much as Miss Elston. The 
evil was gi*owing ! The board decided to pay the 
school another official visit.* 

The afternoon that the trustees were to visit the 
school, Julia was worrying through a geography 
lesson. It was hot and close within the school 
room. It seemed impossible to arouse an inter- 
est in the natural divisions of land and water. 



* It must not be forgotten that these men were 
pioneers in a new country, some of them sons of 
pioneers. In this matter of schooling they did 
the best they could. They had been deprived to a 
large extent, of the learning found in books, so 
they were eager to have their children obtain that 
which they or their parents did not have very 
much of. It was by considerable sacrifice that 
the crude beginning was made. However, condi- 
tions did not remam long as at first. Advance- 
ment made rapid strides. New and more com- 
fortable school-houses were built, even while the 
settlers still lived under clay roofs. Better teachers 
were procured. Then came consolidation and 
better grading, better supervision, until now 
those same schools are the equal of any in the 
country. 



48 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

How could she make them miderstand what lakes, 
and bays and oceans were when some of them 
had never seen more water than would make 
a trickling irrigation stream. Then a happy 
thought came to the teacher! They would all go 
down to the spring and there in minature make 
the capes and islands and peninsulas. In a few 
minutes the whole school clattered eagerly down 
the hill, and were soon, under the teacher's direc- 
tion, making some beautiful natural divisions of 
land and water. 

The trustees, in serious mood, drove up to the 
schoolhouse, tied their horses, and went in. Not 
a child was to be seen. What was the matter? 
It was not recess time, and school had not been 
dismissed, for there were books and dinner pails, 
and the teacher's hat. As they listened in the 
stillness, they heard the faint sound of children's 
voices from down the hill. The trustees went 
out, and sure enough, there was the whole school 
down by the spring. The official faces became 
graver still. "Let us go down and see what they 
are up to," said the chairman. 

The children were so absorbed in what they 
were doing that they did not see the trustees until 
they were nearly upon them. Julia was bending 
over a small pond of water in the middle of which 
she was molding an island. Her hands were in 
the mud, streaks of which extended to her 
elbows. 

'^Here's the trustees," someone whispered. 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 49 

Julia straightened, her hands dripping with 
dirty water. She couldn't even push back her 
tousled hair, so she had to stand in embarrassed 
expectancy. 

**Well/' began Trustee Sanders, **what do 
you think you're doin'?'' 

** We're having a lesson in geography," she 
replied. 

**G'ofirraphy! Huh! It seems to me you're mak- 
in' mud pies." The trustee was angry. *'Why 
aren't ye in school studyin' yer lessons?'' 

Julia controlled herself well. "Oh," she 
explained, * 'this is part of our lesson— but we're 
through now. Come, boys and girls. We'll go 
back to school. The trustees have come to 
see us." 

So they reluctantly washed their hands, and 
then marched slowly back to school. The trus- 
tees followed. With a big foot one of them 
unconsciously destroyed a beautifully built flume 
which led the water in the main canal across a 
deep crack. Another foot made deep marks in 
the wheat field. The trustees did not know what 
ruin they were making, but as they walked slowly 
up the hill,they looked with deep concern at each 
other. 

**This is the limit," said the chairman. I fear 
we must get another teacher. ' ' 



CHAPTER V. 

One Sunday morning in late June, Mr. Chester 
Lawrence alighted from the train at Croft and 
strolled over to the primitive livery stable across 
the way. 

*'Have you a horse and buggy I can have for 
the dayr* he asked. 

**Where ye goin'?" 

''Out on the Flat." 

"Wall, one horse '11 find it pretty bad traveling 
'cause there's sage-brush in the middle of the 
road." 

**Well, give me a two-horse rig, then." 

A horse and a saddle would have answered on 
a week day, but this being Sunday, and he 
having on his ** Sunday best," Chester thought it 
wiser to drive out in a buggy. 

Already a hot sun blazed from a cloudless sky. 
The plain lay baked and dry. The sage-brash 
was covered with dust. Chester drew on driving 
gloves, tucked back his white cuffs, and pulled 
the lap robe well up. "This is a dirty, dusty 
country," he remarked to himself; "hardly the 
place for black clothes and white linen." 

He headed the team across the Flat towards 
Piney Ridge, which shone in the morning sun as 
a spot cool and clean in the dreary landscape. 
He made the horses travel, and a streak of dust 
trailed behind. 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 51 

Half way across he met a number of people* 
some in wagons, some in buggies, and a few rid- 
ing horse-back. He turned out into the sage- 
brush to let the vehicles pass. The people were 
all '*dressed up," and were no doubt going to 
some Sunday meeting. Presently ahead of him 
in the dust of the passing teams he saw driving 
towards him an elderly man and a young woman. 
Yes, it was Mr. Elston and his daughter. When 
they met they both drew out of the road, but as 
they were about to pass, Chester stopped. He 
took off his hat in greeting and said, "Good 
morning." Julia recognized him with a nod and 
**how do you do." 

*'Is this Mr. Elgton?" enquired the young man. 
Tes; that is my name." 
'Well, I was just going out to your place in 
hopes that I might get to see you. I was told 
you could give me some information on land 
matters." 

Hugh Elston looked closely at the speaker. 
He had never naet him before, and yet there was 
something about the young man that looked 
familiar, something in his voice that brought back 
old-time memories. He did not answer for a 
moment. Then suddenly, "We are going to 
Sunday School. If you have time you may go 
with us. Afterwards I shall be pleased to give 
you any information I can." 

The young man was pleased to do this, so he 
turned and followed them as they drove on. He 



Ci- 



52 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

dropped behind to escape the dust, but not before 

he had got a good look at Julia. She wore a | 

white dress, over which was thrown a cloak. A 

sailor hat was pinned to the coils of brown hair. j 

She held in her hand a boquet of roses. I 

Presently they turned to the right, away from 
the road to the station, crossing the small valley 
and dry creek. Three miles further they came 
to a school-house,aroimd which were a number of 
teams and horses tied. Mr. Elston drove up to 
the door, cramping his vehicle to let Julia alight. 
She threw the dusty cloak back into the wagon. 
*'Go in,'' said her father; * 'don't wait forme." 
Then he suggested a hitching place for the 
stranger, and when both teams were secured, the 
men went in together. 

This was the first time Chester Lawrence had 
ever been in a * 'Mormon" meetinghouse. Not 
even the tabernacle in Salt Lake had attracted 
him to it. He wanted nothing whatever to do 
with *'Mormonism." He and his had had enough 
of that, and it would be the last thing on earth 
he would encourage by his presence. However, 
here he was ; but he had an end in view in going 
to this ''Mormon" meeting out in the sage-brush 
coimtry, and his object was not to get information 
on points of "Mormon" doctrine. He thought he 
knew some of this doctrine, and he hated it with 
all his soul. 

Chester was shown to a seat in the comer by the 
door where there were already half a dozen yoimg 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 53 

men and women. From this point of vantage he 
could see everything that went on. The room, he 
observed, was neat enough, though somewhat 
crude. The seats were school desks, and it was 
plainly seen that this room was used for all gather- 
ing purposes. The smooth, shining appearance of 
the floor surely told of the ball-room. 

Mr. Elston sat on the raised platform behind 
the teacher's desk, and Julia was busy with the 
smallest children at the other end of the room, 
taking their hats and finding them seats. The 
visitor became interested in the strange scene, 
but his eyes rested on Julia most of the time. 
She moved among these sturdy but somewhat 
unpolished people with the grace of one who has 
had training elsewhere. A tiny red bud was 
tucked between the coils of her hair, and a larger 
blossom was pinned on her dress. The bouquet 
she placed in a glass tumbler on the teacher's 
desk. 

The exercises began by the singing of a hymn, 
accompanied by an organ. Then someone was 
called from the body of the house to offer prayer. 
Another song was sung, a yoimg lady read the 
minutes of the previous session of the school, 
which were accepted by a raising of hands. The 
whole school then repeated some passages from 
the Bible, after which there was some practice on 
a new song. Two curtains were then drawn 
across the room, making three compartments. 
The superintendent introduced himself to the 



54 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

stranger, and asked him would he like to visit the 
departments, or would he rather remain where he 
was, in the theological class. 

Chester hesitated. "We'll look around, any- 
way," said his guide, "and then you may come 
back here. You know, we claim to have as good 
a school as there is in the stake, even though 
we are so few." 

He led the way behind the curtains, Chester 
following and wondering what a "stake*' was. 
"This is the Intermediate department," was 
explained. "They are studying the life of Christ, 
but they are a little behind the outlines.'' They 
have "outlines" even out here, thought the 
visitor. They listened a few minutes, then stepped 
around the other curtain into the Primary depart- 
ment. Julia was telling the children the story 
of Samuel ; how his mother had given him to the 
Lord when he was a little boy ; how he lived with 
Eli in the temple ; and how the Lord had called 
him in the night. Julia told the story well, not 
heeding the presence of the superintendent and 
the visitor. Chester would have liked to remain 
in the Primary department, but he was led back 
CO his first place. 

Here Mr. Elston was the teacher, and this class 
was studying the Book or Mormon. Now,thought 
Chester Lawrence, he would hear "Mormonism." 
So far he had not seen or heard what he had 
expected. These other classes were using the 
same Bible as the Christians used, and the same 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 55 

stories were being told the children that had 
been told to him— many years ago. From the 
Book of Mormon, surely would come some 
"Mormonism." 

The lesson topic that day was the story of the 
two thousand young men, "Helaman's strip- 
lings," who fought so valiantly to protect their 
rights and liberties. Their fathers had been dark- 
skinned Lamanites, who had covenanted that 
they would never more take up arms against their 
brethren ; but the time came when the liberties of 
the Nephites, their protectors, were in danger, 
and so there came forward some two thousand 
of the young men who were free from the cove- 
nant of their fathers. These covenanted to fight 
for the freedom of their brethren, even to the 
laying down of their lives. These, so the his- 
tory gave it, "were exceedingly valiant for cour- 
age, and also for strength and activity ♦ ♦ ♦ 
they were men of truth and soberness for they 
had been taught to keep the commandments of 
Gk)d." And then the strange wonder of this story 
was that though this little army went through a 
long and bloody war, fought many battles and 
every man of them receiving many wounds, yet 
not one of them was killed! 

After the story was brought out, the teacher 
asked questions. 

*'What was the secret of the young men's 
strength?*' 

Their implicit faith," was the reply. 



««i 



44 



56 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

*'True; and how had they obtained such great 
faith?" 

'Their mothers had implanted it in them." 
Brother Johns," said the teacher, *'read what 
it says about that." The brother read from the 
text. "They had been taught by their mothers 
that if they did not doubt God would deliver 
them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of 
their mothers, sajring. We do not doubt our 
mothers knew it." 

"Yes," commented the class instructor, "this 
is one of the most striking instances we have of 
the influence of the mother. After all, is it not 
true that the children are what the mother makes 
themi The father, of course, is a factor— some 
more, some less — but I think the great truth 
holds good that the mother is the greatest power 
for good or evil in the training of the growing 
child." 

As Chester Lawrence sat and listened, looking 
intently at the speaker, he wondered at what he 
heard. He could not accept this book as history, 
but he could find no fault with the moral teach- 
ings drawn -from it. Yes; it was surely true that 
as the mother taught the child, so was he inclined. 
His own mother had told him that the "Mormons 
were a bad people, and that "Mormonism 
was a vile religion— that, of course, must be true ; 
but where were the evidences! So far he had 
seen none. There were to be preaching services 






HNEY EIDGE COTTAGE 57 

after the Sunday school— then he would hear the 
"real thing." 

After the school was dismissed, Hugh Elston 
explained to Chester that because of the long 
distances from the homes of the people to the 
meeting place, the services followed directly after 
the school, thus making two drives unnecessary. 
After a ten minute intermission, some more of 
the older people having arrived, the meeting was 
called to order. After the opening exercises, a 
number of men were unexpectedly called from 
the congregation to preach. The first, a young 
man, had recently returned from a preaching 
mission to the Southern States, and he told of 
his experiences, among which were a number of 
drivings by mobs with shot guns. The second 
speaker preached from a scriptural text, showing 
that faith, repentance and baptism were neces- 
sary for salvation. The last speaker was an old 
man. He told of the early settlers of the West, 
and how he had left his home in England, and 
had pulled a hand-cart across the plains in early 
days for the sake of his religion. 

At the close of the meeting Hugh Elston asked 
the visitor if he would drive home with him. As 
Chester needed no second invitation, they were 
soon on the road towards Piney Eidge. They 
arrived early in the afternoon. Julia sprang out 
and ran into the house, while the men unhitched 
and fed the horses. 



(4' 



58 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

"I don't believe you have told me your name," 
said the older man. 

"My name is Chester Lawrence," was the 
reply. 

1 thought so." 

Why, how could you know? I have not 
told it to any one about here." 

"No, but you have your mother's face and 
voice." 

The young man was somewhat surprised and 
annoyed. This man knew him, perhaps knew 
his whole secret, and what he was there for. He 
had not counted on this. 

"Come," said Mr. Elston, "we will go in and 
have some dinner. Then I shall be pleased to give 
you any information that I have about land— if 
that is what you want." 

The young man followed his host into the house, 
not knowing on the spur of the moment what 
else to do. The table was already set for three. 
Julia had slipped a big work apron over her 
dress, and was cutting bread. The rose bud was 
still in her hair— and there was a heightened 
color in her cheeks. 

"You have met my daughter before, I believe," 
said the father. "Julia, this is Mr. Chester 
Lawrence." Julia bowed. She took his hat, and 
the father directed him to the wash basin, where 
he could "get rid of some of the dust." 

"It's all ready, father," called Julia presently. 

"All right, we're coming." 



44 
44 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 59 

When the two men were seated, Julia took her 
place. Her father . nodded to her, and the girl 
bowed her head and asked the blessing. 

Now, Mr. Lawrence,^' said Hugh Elston, 

you must help yourself. We have no cooked 
dinners on Sunday; but we have plenty of cool, 
sweet milk, not robbed of its cream, good bread 
and butter, thanks to Julia, and so we get 
along.'' 

*'I can assure you there can be nothing better 
than just this," replied the young man, "espe- 
cially during these dry, hot days." 

"We think so. We are simple people, Julia 
and I, and our luxuries do not run to eating." 

"You have a very fine place here— a sort of 
oasis in the desert." 

"Yes; we have a home— that's all. Even if we 
are a long way from neighbors. But we are con- 
tented. Julia is just closing her first effort at 
school teaching, and that has been a change for 
her." 

"How do you like it?" asked Chester, glad of 
the opening to bring her into the conversation. 

"Well, sometimes I like it and sometimes I 
don't." 

"I suppose that's the way with everything, 
isn't it?" 

"All work has its unpleasant duties," said the 
father. 

Then Chester asked about the unoccupied land 
lying idle in the region. 



60 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

"Some day," explained Mr. Elston, **all of it 
will be under cultivation. Some day the govern- 
ment or some big companies will dam the river 
thirty miles away, and will bring water along the 
foothills here to irrigate the Flat. Then the 
land will be valuable, for it is the finest kind of 
soil. A good deal of the land is already taken, 
but large areas are yet to be had— Julia, get 
another pitcher of milk, will you? Get it from 
the milk house where it is cool." 

No sooner had Julia left the room than Mr. 
Elston, looking steadily across the table at his 
guest, asked, "Is your mother alivef " 

"Yes." 

"Isshewellf" 

"Yes." 

"I am glad to hear that. Now then, young 
man, what do you wanti" 

Chester moved back from the table. There 
was no use in hedging; this man was not to be 
played with or fooled. He might as well boldly 
declare what he came for. 

"Come," urged the older man, "speak while 
the girl is away. I don't want her to hear you — 
that's why I sent her out." 

"Well— my mother thinks she deserves some 
support from you." 

"And you have come out here to learn what I 
have got -to see if it is worth while trying for?" 

"Yes." 

"Is your mother poorf Is she in need! '* 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 61 



a- 



'No, sir; she is not—'' 
'If she is, I will help her." 
She does not need help; but she wants her 
rights— that is all— I—" 

Just then Julia came in and placed the milk 
on the table. She glanced at the two men who 
had ceased eating and were in a strange mood. 
The girl understood her father well, and it took 
but a look and a slight movement of his head for 
her to know that she was to leave them together. 

*'I'm going up to my room," she said. You'll 
call me if you want anything, won't youl" 

"Yes, my girl." 

As the door closed behind her on the upper 
landing the two men again faced each other across 
the table. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Two hours later, the two men left the room and 
went out into the yard. Chester's team was 
hitched ; he climbed into the buggy, and was all 
ready to drive oflf. 

''We'll part friends, Mr. Elston," said the 
young man, holding out his hand— "1 should like 

to." 

*'It will be a pleasure for me to be your friend 
—yours and your mother's— if you will let me — 
good afternoon . ' ' 

The buggy rolled out of the yard, and was 
soon lost to sight down the hill. Hugh Elston 
then walked slowly back to the house, went to 
the foot of the stairs and called his daughter. 
There was no response. 

"Julia!" 

Everything was silent. He climbed the stairs, 
pushed open the door, and there was Julia asleep 
on her bed. He went softly up to her. There 
were signs of weeping in her face. He turned to 
leave her, but she awoke. 

*'Is that you, father?" 

"Yes, my girl. Did you have a good sleep!" 

"No; I had an unpleasant dream." She sat up. 

"You have been crying. What is it about?'' 
He patted her head and cheek. 

She choked back tears that were in danger of 



«4 
&4- 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 63 

coining, but said nothing. **It's warm up here/' 
she said. * 'Let's go down stairs." 

"You had better finish your dinner," he 
suggested. 

"I had all I wanted. Has he — Mr. Lawrence, 
gone!" 

He just left." 

'What was the matter with him and you, too? 
Oh, father, I think you might tell me! You are 
keeping something from me." 

He went to the door and looked out. "Put on 
your hat, and we will take a walk. The sun is 
not so hot this afternoon.'' 

She obeyed, and together they took the path 
out towards the little graveyard. There was 
always a Sabbath stillness at Piney Eidge Cot- 
tage, but Sunday afternoons had a solemnity dis- 
tinct from the rest of the days. Then they were 
usually alone, for they discouraged visiting by 
never doing it themselves. It was a day of rest 
with them. After Sunday School and meetings, 
they spent the time in reading and talking, often 
taking the book out to the grassy plat by the 
graves. But this afternoon no book was taken, 
and for a time very little was said. Julia had 
not often seen her father so full of emotion, 
and she wondered at it, blaming herself some- 
what for her actions. 

They sat down on the grass in the shade of the 
bushes. The great, gray Flat lay before them, 
forming the bottom of an ocean of clear air 



64 PINEY RIDGE COTTAaE 

stretching to the distant mountains. A crawling 
speck was seen down below, leaving a trail of 
dust behind: that was the departing visitor. 
Away to the far horizon a streak of black con- 
taminated the virgin air: that was the smoke 
from the locomotive. Civilization brought foul- 
ness as well as improvement in its wake. 

*'My girl," began the father, *'I will tell you 
this that you want to know." 

"Don't, father, if it pains you. Forgive me for 
asking.*' 

**You ought to know now. I have kept it from 
you long enough. I should have told you before, 
perhaps, but I have never been able to bring 
myself to it; but now this man Chester Lawrence 
has come, and you must know the truth, and 
know it from me." 

Julia appeared afraid of something, afraid 
that some revelation of dire results was to come. 
The father guessed as much and said with a smile, 

"My girl, it is nothing bad at all— nothing that 
reflects discredit or dishonor on either of us." 

**1 was alarmed for a moment— but go on, 
father." 

"You already know that your mother was not 
my first wife." 

"Yes; you have told me that." 

"Well, this was many years ago. My first wife 
was Chester Lawrence's mother." 

"Father!" 

"I married her back in the states. I thought 



PINEY RIDQE COTTAGE 65 

she was a good woman— she was a erood woman, 
one who had made a sad mistake, and was try- 
ing hard to forget it, to live it down. She did 
not tell me all her past until we were married. 
I forgave her and told her I would help her, and 
I did. I did all in my power. I am sure she 
appreciated it then * * and we were happy. 

**One day a 'Mormon' elder came to our house. 
I was away at work, but my wife received his 
tracts at the door. We read the tracts together, 
and immediately understood them. It was as 
though we had known the gospel which they 
preached,but had forgotten it. For ajyear we did 
not see another elder. Then when he did come, 
we did not let him depart from our home until we 
were baptized. 

"Then we came west, locating down at Altone. 
My wife left her boy behind. When he was a 
few weeks old, she placed him with a near 
relative, and there he grew up. I did not know 
of it, as I told you, until the boy was two years 
old. I told my wife that she could have her 
chOd, and I would do for him the best I could; 
but now the foster mother would not give him up. 
So the mother had to leave him * * j never 
saw the boy until this morning. Then I knew 
it was he, for he has his mother's face and voice. 

*'I had taken up some land at Altone; but in 
those first years it was a struggle. 1 was new at 
farming, being a carpenter by trade, and there- 
fore had much to learn. Anna, my wife, tried 



66 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 



to bear her burdens patiently, but I could see 
that they bore hard on her. She was naturally of 
a disposition to look on the dark side of every- 
thing, and that made things harder. She had 
been brought up somewhat a 'lady,' in the com- 
mon misuse of that term. She had to learn to 
milk cows and do some other menial but neces- 
sary work about our place, for I was not always 
at home. These thing always grated on her, I 
could see, so I spared her all I could. No child- 
ren came to us. This was a great disappoint- 
ment to me. One, two, three years went by. We 
were doing fairly well on our farm. Anna kept 
well in touch with her folks in the states, and on 
a number of times she had asked if she 
couldn't have her boy. She would come for him, 
she said, but they were more eager than ever to 
keep him, for they knew he would come to a 
*Mormon' home, and they thought that would 
be the greatest possible calamity. 

*'Our nearest neighbor was a widow by the 
name of Winston. She had an only daughter, 
Agnes. Agnes and my wife became great friends. 
My wife was five years older than the girl, but 
this did not seem to make any difference in the 
closeness of their friendship. They were much 
together, and 1 encouraged it, because it gave 
company for my wife, especially when I was 
away working on the irrigation canal. 

'*In those days, as you know, the principle of 
plurality of wives was practiced by our people. 



My wife, of course, knew of it, but that was one 
subject we hardly ever discussed. I can see now 
that I was at fault in that, for there ought never 
to be anything that could not be freely talked 
about between husband and wife. She knew that 
I believed the principle theoretically, at least, 
but I was not so sure of her,and I did not wish to 
trouble her mind ; for truth to say, I had never 
thought of taking another wife. 1 am speaking 
plainly to you, Julia, so that you may under- 
stand thoroughly." 

'*Yes, father.'^ 

**The Widow Winston died suddenly, leaving 
Agnes absolutely alone. Many friends came to 
her assistance, and many offered to give her a 
home, but she would not leave the little house 
wherein she and her mother had lived. She 
seemed to love the solitude, Julia, even as you 
love it, and she was never afraid to stay all 
alone away from any neighbors. Alone she 
looked after the garden, cared for a large flock 
of chickens, and drove the cows to and from the 
pasture. Many times, I have no doubt, she was 
lonesome and sad. 

** About this time I was away much, having 
taken a hauling contract, and so my wife had 
Agnes stay with her. Together they milked and 
churned and gathered the eggs, then my wife 
going to Agnes' little house to do the same for 
her. They talked on many things, those two, 
and among the topics was that of plurality of 



68 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

wives. Your mother told me about it after- 
wards. My wife seemed to have had a feeling 
that some day I would want another wife, and so 
these two had agreed that if that time ever came, 
Agnes was to be the one. 

"Well, Agnes, pure, simple-hearted girl, 
thought my wife meant what she said. After 
that the girl came of tener to our house when 1 
was home. She was not so shy of me as she had 
been. We often spoke of the time when I was 
the school teacher, and she spelled the school 
down. The girl became livelier. She would 
laugh at our jokes, and even crack some herself. 
During the years of her development into 
womanhood, she became a sweet-faced woman, 
open-hearted and pure as the clearest air or the 
sweetest-flowing stream in the mountains. 

"Then something came to me, which was that 
Agnes loved me. I could see it in every look, 
every word, every movement. And that love 
was just as pure as she herself was pure. That 
secret and to her sacred compact made with my 
wife had removed any bar, so that she had let 
her love flow freely from the fullness of her great 
heart. She lived in it. It fllled her whole being, 
and in it she grew into that beautiful woman, 
your mother." 

Hugh Elston arose from the grass, went over 
to the low mound, and placed his hand caress- 
ingly on the marble headstone. Then he looked 
out over the valley to the disappearing trail of 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 69 

dust, came back to Julia, and then continued: 
*'When my wife came to understand the girVs 
feelings, she turned on her. She did not try to 
control herself, but she stormed terribly, flying 
at the astonished and frightened Agnes in a ter- 
rible rage, and accusing her of all that is vile and 
mean. The poor girl fled. 
" *Anna,* I said, 'What are you doing?' 
"'I? I?' she shouted. 'It isn't I. It's you 
and the girl that's doing; but I'll not stand for it! 
Take her, marry her! I'm going.' 

"I tried to reason with her, but that was use- 
less. The poor woman seemed to have lost con- 
trol over herself. I remained at home for days. 
Agnes did not come near, and when on the fourth 
day I went to her home, I found the house 
locked, the cows driven to a neighbor's, the 
chickens gone, and the garden drying up for 
want of water. I went back and told my wife 
what I had found. 
" 'She hasn't gone far,' was all she said. 

"The days dragged on miserably— and they 
were black to me. Anna's love seemed to have 
turned to hate. She would not go to meeting. 
She would not join in prayer. She derided sacred 
things. Agnes was gone— gone a long way— to 
Salt Lake, I learned. She did not write, and I 
did not know her address. I don't know what I 
would have written had I known it. Months 
passed. 

It was just before the October conference. 



4( 



(4 t- 
t4 (I 



t4 (i 



70 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

when I proposed to Anna that we go to conference . 

"'And you're going to find Agnes,' she 
responded. 

'I may try,' I said. 

Then I shall not stop in Salt Lake— I'll go 
with you, but I'll go farther— I'll go on East, 
back home, to my boy — ' 

'We'll not go to conference, then.' 
'Oh, yes,' she replied. 'Don't be a fool. I 
know.' She thought she knew me, Julia, but 
she didn't— she never did. 

"We went to Salt Lake, my wife having her 
trunk fully packed for a longer journey. I sup- 
plied her with money, and she bought a ticket to 
her home town. I said good-bye to her at the 
depot. She was dry-eyed and the kiss she gave 
me was cold — oh, I never knew until that hour 
what a difference there is between the hea.rt cold 
and hardened and the heart kept mellow by im- 
plicit faith in the love of God. * * * 

"I found Agnes working as a domestic in a 
family. She was but the shadow of her former 
self. She longed for the freedom of the open 
and the wild, but she would not go home with 
me, even though I told her all that had happened. 

" 'No; she said, 'she may come back; no— 
not yet.' 

"There was no need of words to tell each 
other our feelinsrs, so nothing was said— but we 
understood. 

"Anna wrote me a note, saying she had 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 71 

arrived at home, where she was going to stay for 
good. That was the last I ever heard of her 
until her son talked to me this afternoon. 

* 'Within a year I prevailed upon Agnes to 
marry me. We drove all the way to St. George 
to be married in the temple. Then we left Altone, 
and came out here and laid the foundation of 
Piney Ridge Cottage. It was she, your mother, 
my girl, that first saw the twelve pines, that 
gave the ridge, and later the house their names. 
It was she who planted the little garden in front. 
It was she who said, *We must build the house 
big enough,f or Anna may some day want to come 
back— and she shall have the best when she 
does.' And it was that dear, brave, noble- 
hearted mother of yours, whose earthly body lies 
here amid the solitude that she loved, that wrote 
to Anna asking her to come back and share 
what we had of home and love." 

The man could say no more, for the last words 
were hard to utter. He bowed his head in his 
hands, and Julia, with arm pressing the gray 
head to hers of brown, mingled her tears 
with his. 

The sun went down. The Sabbath closed. 
The father and daughter went silently hand in 
hand along the path from the graveyard back to 
Piney Ridge Cottage. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Chester Lawrence drove into the station at 
Croft, and after disposing of the team, he went 
into the only "hoteP' in the place. Much as he 
disliked staying at a cheap railroad lodging 
house, he would have to do it, because his train 
would not be in until morning. He would much 
rather have remained at Piney Ridge — ^but— . 

After supper he went to his room. The day 
had been warm, and he had passed through 
some wearing experiences; he was, therefore, 
tired. The flies with which the * 'hotel*' was 
infested were settling on ceiling and hangings, 
but the mosquitoes still buzzed about his ears. 
Close the windows he could not, so the only 
thing to do was to blow out the lamp and go to 
bed. 

But sleep did not come easily to Chester Law- 
rence. The bed was not comfortable, and there 
were the strange experiences of th© day to think 
about. Sermons and religious services are sup- 
posed to have a tendency to sleepiness, but a 
review of those he had heard in that little house 
out among the sage-brush had no such effect 
on Chester. He could not understand why his 
mother carried such hatred against these people 
and their religion. He had been led to believe 
that the ''Mormons" were closely akin to the 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 73 

heathen, that they were not Christian in any 
sense, and that the chief principle of their relig- 
ion was polygamy. Why, he had not even heard 
polygamy mentioned, let alone seeing it in full 
swing in practice. Of course, he had not investi- 
gated thoroughly, but as far as he had inquired 
there were no polygamists in or around the Flat. It 
was reported that one man away on the other 
side of the hill had two wives, which rather than 
desert in a time of past trouble, he had taken 
with him to this wild region ; but that was the 
only case known to the people of Croft. Simple 
these *'Mormons" were, but not ignorant; unpol- 
ished, some of them, but not rude; out of style 
and not up-to-date, but not immoral. It was a 
strange mixture. Then there were Mr. Elston 
and his daughter — two fine people. His mother's 
former husband, the only one she had ever had, 
had told the young man much, and that young 
man could not help thinking about it. Just a 
small doubt came to him of his mother^s wisdom 
in past actions. Then there was Julia — Gray's 
lines came to him : 

'*Full many a flower is bom to blush unseen. 
And waste its fragrance on the desert air.'* 

The picture of her as he had first seen her 
reclining on the grass by her mother's grave was 
recalled. She had been quite talkative that day, 
but this day she had avoided him, hardly speak- 
ing. At one time he had caught her big brown 



74 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

eyes looking furtively at him. She, of course, 
had been curious. Very likely she knew noth- 
ing of her father's relationship to his mother. 

The freight train rumbled by the station, mak- 
ing the ramshackle * 'hotel" shake. Piney Ridge 
Cottage faded in the light, and the young man 
slept. 

He awoke early, got up, washed and dressed. 
He had hours yet to wait for breakfast and the 
train. He would write to his mother : 

Dear Mother: 

I am here again at the station at Croft. Yester- 
day I visited Piney Ridge Cottage, I came, I 
saw, and was nearly conquered. I attended 
church with the people on the Flat. In the first 
place, you will have to give up any hope of com- 
pellingMr. Elston to give any of his property to you 
as a former wife — ^we have no chance whatever in 
that direction. Besides, Mr. Elston is not rich 
as we were led to believe. I think that perhaps 
the way he lives, and the way he has fixed up his 
home has led some to think that he must be well 
oflE— but Piney Ridge Cottage and a few acres 
surrounding it are all he has. I am sure of that. 
But Mr. Elston is an uncommon man— above the 
average. He may not be wealthy in this world's 
goods, but he has something else— mother, I wish 
I had more of it— character. This stands out 
boldly in the man. One can feel it in his pres- 
ence. I tried to be important and to be angry, 
but I failed in each case. In his quiet, resource- 
ful way he made me feel how little 1 was, on what 
a little errand I had come. Mr. Elston knew me. 
He said I had my mother's face and voice— these 
he has not forgotten. I could |not deceive the 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 75 



man ; he read my very thoughts, and so I gave up 
trying to be sly or smart. 

As I said, I visited their Sunday School and 
church. I was on the road when I met Mr. Elston 
and Julia, and by his invitation I acconipanied 
them. I kept my eyes and ears open, but 1 failed 
to hear or see anything bad. Miss Elston was the 
teacher of the pnmary class ; Mr. Elston taught 
the young men and older girls. In this class they 
had a story from the Book of Mormon which you 
might remember. It was about some two thou- 
sand young men who had been taught by their 
mothers to have such faith in God, that when it 
came to a war for right and liberty not one of 
them was slain in battle. It was interesting and 
I think I shall get one of these Books of Mormon 
to read. I don't remember ever having seen it 
before. 

Well, after the meeting we all drove to Piney 
Ridge, and there we had dinner. It consisted of 
milk— cool and sweet and rich, and bread of 
Julia's baking. I enjoyed it. Then Mr. Elston 
and I had a long talk, and then and there, 
mother, is when I learned much— much more 
than you have ever told me. I suppose he told 
me the truth — I could not doubt his statements 
for thev agreed with and explained more fully 
what I have known. 

Don't think, mother, that I am finding fault 
with you; I am not. You, no doubt, did just 
right— you couldn't have done otherwise, but I 
have been thinking what a pity some things are 
as they are. I might have had a father m Mr. 
Elston and a sister in Julia. But no, I don't 
want— that could not be— I'm afraid I'm some- 
what muddled, so I had better quit. I didn't 
sleep well last nisrht. 



76 PINEY BIDGE COTTAGE 

I think that I shall remain in the country 
some time yet. I like it, both up here, and in 
and around Salt Lake. There are many splendid 
openings for investment and money-making 
here. I believe this is the coming country. I 
wouldn't mind having a section or two of this 
dry land, and they say there are some good min- 
ing prospects in the hills. I'll write you again 
when my plans are further matured. Meanwhile, 
dear mother, forget all about Mr. Elston and all 
that pertains to him. Live in peace and con- 
tentment the rest of your life. I shall see that 
you are never in need. 

Your loving son, 
Chester. 

It had been a "blue Monday" for Julia. All day 
it had been an up-hill struggle. The lessons had 
been poorly recited, the children had been rest- 
less and noisy. There had been pin-sticking, 
hair-pulling, cheating in spelling and copying in 
arithmetic, all in one afternoon. The children 
were to have remained to practice for the 
closing exercises a week hence, but they had 
been dismissed abruptly. Julia was very much 
discouraged. She was glad her teaching was so 
near its close. 

But Julia was just going through the exper- 
ience that all school teachers have gone through. 
At the close of the day, with store of vitality 
nearly exhausted, weak and discouraged, the 
teacher vows that this term or year shall be the 
last. She is not equal to the task, she says. She 
Is a failure, anyway; but the mght works mir- 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 77 

acles. In the morning there is elasticity in her 
step, a song in her heart, and she goes forth with 
the strensrth and gladness of a new-born day. 
Julia had experienced this, but for all that the 
Monday had been bluer than ever. The fault had 
been, no doubt, her own. She had been so full 
of her father's story the evening before, that she 
could not get her mind on her work. 

The children scampered homeward, and the 
schoolhouse became quiet. A new Harper^s 
which the postman had delivered Saturday eve- 
ning had not yet been opened. She took it from 
her desk and tore oflE the wrapper. Julia liked 
to open her magazines properly when she had 
time to do it. There is much unsurfeited joy 
in the magazine that comes to one through the 
mail, clean, with the smell of new ink and the 
uncut leaves—a joy that is not obtained by fre- 
quenting the crowded book stalls of the cities. 

Julia always began at the beginning to enjoy 
her magazine. She looked leisurely at the front 
advertising pages, and took quite an interest in 
the announcement of new books. In this way 
she became acquainted with many titles and 
authors. Then came a long list of schools where 
young men and young women were prepared for 
the higher colleges. She wondered why these 
schools did not prepare for life, instead of one 
school preparing for another. Goins: to school 
surely wasn't the end of existence ! These schools 
were pictured as being situated amid beautiful 



78 PINEY UID^E COTTAG^E 

surroundings of forest and lake — she would like 
to attend one of these. 

Then with her pen-knife Julia cut the regular 
pages, reading the headings and looking at the 
pictures. Thus she went deliberately through 
the magazine, not paying much attention to the 
back page advertizements of steam engines and 
automobiles. 

Julia looked at her watch to see if she had time 
to read any before going home. Just as she 
decided that she had, she saw some one drive up 
to the open door and look in at her. 

"Hello, Julia!" shouted a young man from his 
buggy. 

. Julia stepped to the door. "Well, Glen Curtis, 
of all things! When did you get home?" 

"Yesterday; and today I thought I would drive 
around to see the new school teacher.'^ He 
sprang to the ground, fastened his horse, and 
came into the house. They shook hands, and 
then walked up to the front, where Julia seated 
herself behind her desk while Glen reclined on a 
seat. 

"Well, and how do you like it by this time?" 

he asked. 

"I don't like it a bit today; but I may like it all 
right tomorrow." 

"Yes; I know; you're right. It's an up and 
down business, isn't it? One day you're up in 
the clouds, the next you're down in the deepest 
dumps: but we'll have our reward— in heaven." 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 79 

Glen was always such a jolly fellow, and his 
cheerful face and merry mood were bringing 
Julia's spirits back again. 

She and Glen had been good friends for years, 
and many a time as boy and girl, looking after 
the grazing cows, they had met at the pole fence 
and talked over the "serious problems of life." 

She had not seen him for two years, and how 
big and manlike he had become ! She questioned 
him about his doings, and he told her that he 
had been teaching school in one of the southern 
counties. He had to do it to get money enough 
to go on with his own schooling, he explained. 

'*Well, I'm teaching for the experience," said 

Julia. 
"And you're getting it, I understand. I want 

to give you fair warning. The trustees are after 

you. I heard it from Sis, who heard it from 

Mary Sanders, who heard it from her father, the 

trustee. So it must be straight." 

"What have you heard?" 

"Well, there are three serious charges against 
you : First, that you teach reading without first 
teaching the alphabet ; second,that you do not drill 
on the multiplication table backwards ; third that 
you and the school children play in the mud 
when you ought to be in the schoolhouse study- 
ing your lessons. Are you guilty or not guilty?" 
he chuckled. 

I plead guilty to all but the last charge. We 
were studying geography down by the spring. 



80 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

getting concepts, or some such things, in the 
natural way. Anyway, it was the best lesson 
I ever presented— but those stupid trustees didn't 
know it.** 

He laughed heartily at her, and then told some 
of his own experiences. "One of the trustees 
down where I've been teaching thought I was 
earning my money too easily. He had no idea 
that a man could work with his brain, nor did he 
understand the nervous strain resulting from the 
working of mind with mind. He knew that if 
his hoe came in contact with the clods in his gar- 
den frequently enough the hoe would wear out, 
because the hoe and the clods were material. He 
used to tell me when I made fun of his poor 
plowing, that a crooked furrow, being longer than 
a straight one, would grow more potatoes. Well, 
I remember one afternoon, as I was going home 
after school, listless, fagged out, hardly able to 
drag one foot after the other, I passed this man 
working in his garden. He was a big, muscular 
fellow, his body full of red blood. Leaning on 
his hoe, he observed me coming, and when oppo- 
site him he said, 'Well, you school teachers have 
a slick time, don't you? You go to work at nine 
in the morning and quit at four in the afternoon. 
We farmers have to work from daylight to dark.' 

** 'Well, you don't look any the worse for it,' " 
I replied, as I passed— but that's the idea some 
people have.'* 

**But, say Glen, this is new business for me. 



C6 

6( 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 81 

What about these charges the trustees hold 
against me?" 

^'They're silly — foolish. As soon as the super- 
intendent hears of them, he^U tell the trustees 
what's what. I should judge," said he, looking 
around critically at the room and then at her, 

that you are a pretty good teacher." 
Oh, thank you— but you always were such a 
tease. How long are you going to stay at home 
this time?" 

"Just a few days. I've a job coming, and I 
must be off again. Say, how are the roads up 
toward Piney Ridge?" 
They^re dusty." 

But it^s cool and green at the other end of the 
road?*' 

"You mean at our end?'* 

"Yes, at Piney Ridge Cottage." 
Well, yes*'— she paused and then laughed— 

cool and green," she repeated, "well, I never!" 
What's the joke?'* 

Nothing, nothing. I'll have to be going. 
It's time I was off." 

They passed out together, he helping to hitch 
her horse. When she was seated, he handed her 
the lines. 

"I understand you have your closing program 
next Friday." 

"Yes.** 

"I*m coming, if I may." 

6 






4i 
(4 

44 
44 



82 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

"Why, of course; but I warn you, you wonH see 
mucli/' 

She touched the horse with the lines, and he 
moved away from the wheels. 

"I'll see you," said Glen. 



CHAPTER Vni. 

There were two ways by which one could go 
from Piney Ridge to Rock Creek. The first was 
by the wagon road, around the base of Old 
Thunder Mountain and across the low divide. 
The second followed a dimly marked road up 
Dry Canyon, thence across the upper divide, then 
down the creek to the settlement. The latter 
route cut the distance in two, but it took just as 
long to traverse, because of the diflSculties of the 
passage. 

Julia had an errand at Rock Creek— to see 
when the threshers would be on their way around 
the mountain to Piney Ridge. She took the 
upper route. She had all day, if necessary, to 
make the trip, and the *'Call of the wild," drew 
her into the mountains. Her poney was sure- 
footed and newly shod. It was an ideal autumn 
day, the mountain being decked out in colors of 
yellow and red and brown. She made an early 
start, and by ten o'clock she was climbing the 
trail up from Dry Canyon. Soon she left the 
tinted serviceberry and the odorous "squaw- 
berry" bushes and reached the birches. The air 
was full of the wild odors only to be found on the 
high mountains. Weeds, grasses and bushes 
were strange here, Julia not knowing their names 
or nature. She supposed that botanists had 






84 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

penetrated even to this wilderness and had classi- 
fied all this vegetation, giving it Latin names, 
bnt she knew weeds only by their pungent smell 
or their beautiful flowers; the grass she knew 
was good for cattle and the brush for sheep. 

Up the steeper places she led her pony, paus- 
ing to rest on the rounded knoll, wind-swept and 
free from brush, where she could look back upon 
her trail and over the country she had left 
behind. 

Isn't this glorious!" she exclaimed half aloud. 

It's good to get 'up above the world so high.' '* 

Directly below her lay the foothills, at the foot 
of which Piney Eidge appeared as a speck of 
green— then the Flat hardly discernible through 
the haze. Away oflE towards the western hori- 
zon some prospective dry-land farmers were 
burning the sage-brush, and its smoke besmeared 
the air in that direction. She could now see the 
high mountains beyond the Flat, and the canyon 
through which the railroad passed. Above her 
reared Old Thunder. Great banks of snow still 
lay in the deeper ravines on the north, and the 
clusters of black pines were still in a "high state 
of preservation.'* 

"All right, Bess," said Julia to her pony. "We 
must go. Just a couple more climbs, then it will 
be down hill and then we'll have a drink from 
Rock Creek." 

On the summit of the High divide Julia and 
her horse rested again. She sat on a rock with 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 85 

the bridle reins in her hand. Throwing her hat 
on the ground, she let the breeze play unhindered 
with her hair. And now from her high position, 
alone, far away from the world, she thought of 
many things that had recently forced themselves 
upon her. There was an element of restlessness in 
her feelings. She was not altogether satisfied with 
herself or the life she had been leading. What 
did she know of the world? She had lived all her 
days amid sage-brush plains and wild mountains. 
She knew very few people. And, ah, there were 
so many feelings within her, pent up for so 
long struggling now and then to be released. 
That hour they seemed to be fighting harder than 
ever for freedom. Freedom for what? She did 
not know. She did not understand the nature of 
her longings, but she knew they were real, and 
were fraught with peculiar heartaches. Could 
she but fly from her prison! Away over the 
barrier of mountains, to the world, to the big 
cities filled with people ! What a sight it would 
be to stand on some street comer and see strange 
people go by all day, hundreds— thousands of 
them— and never the same one twice! How 
many different faces there must be in the world ! 
And the big, smooth flowing rivers and the 
ocean! How she would like to see the ocean 
stretching out to the sky like some places in the 
Flat, bearing white sails and big, smoking 
steamers coming and going to and from every 
country on the earth! Oh, yes, she had seen 



86 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

pictures of these things, she had read of them, 
and she had lived with them in imagination; but 
she wanted the real now. The visions of the 
brain . did not satisfy. She wanted to feel with 
her hands, to see with her eyes, to hear with her 
natural ears. She was hungry and thirsty — ^but 
for what? 

Twice only had she been to Salt Lake City, the 
last visit some years ago. A father's cousin 
whom she knew slightly as Aunt Jane, lived 
there, but there had been very little communica- 
tion between them. Her year at the County Seat 
attending school had bro.ught her the most 
friends, but even these were fast vanishing into 
forgetfulness. Friends, new friends, perhaps 
that was what she wanted. Her father had told 
her she might go to school again next year^— learn 
to become a teacher, as the superintendent had 
suggested. She hadn't thought of it with much 
favor — but now — 

The pony pulled hard on the reins, trying to 
reach a bunch of grass. 

"All right, Bess, we'd better go," said Julia, 
as she mounted and began the slow descent 

She followed a trail back and forth down the 
hillside until she reached the bottom of the hill 
where Bock Creek tumbled clear and cold over 
its bed of stones. Again the girl dismounted, and 
she and her horse drank of the sweet water. 
Julia bathed her face and hands, letting the water 
flow through her fingers. 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 87 

This side of the mountain was better watered. 
The creek, fed from the melting snows of Old 
Thunder, never ran dry, making it possible for a 
dozen families to live along its banks down in 
the valley. Willows lined the banks, and small 
mountain trout darted about in the clear water of 
the stream. A well-defined road hugged the 
stream, winding around sharp precipices and 
under overhanging rocks. In the depths of the 
willows were cool, mossy banks, fringed with 
tall ferns. 

Julia had jogged along leisurely for half an 
hour enjoying the sylvan character of the canyon 
and the music of the hurrying stream, when on 
rounding a big rock she came suddenly upon a 
man leading a horse that could hardly walk for 
lameness. The girl was not frightened, but she 
drew back, startled for a moment. She was 
further surprised when the man turned and she 
saw that it was Chester Lawrence. He, too, was 
somewhat startled, so they stood still and looked 
at each other for a moment. Then he lifted his 
hat and said, "What are you doing here on this 
side of the mountain?" 

**I am on my way to Rock Creek," she replied. 

**You're not lost then?" 

**I — lost? Oh, no; this is a familiar road 
to me." 

**I wish it were to me; then perhaps I should 
not have lamed my horse.'' 

**He's bad, T see How did it happen?'* 



ti- 



88 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

*'I was trying to go too fast and he stumbled— 
nearly broke his leg, I think. 

Julia looked critically down at the injured leg. 
*'Poor horse," she said— "but what are you doing 
here?" 

He looked at here. Well, yes, she had as much 
right to ask that question as he— * 'I'm prospect- 
ing," he explained. 

Prospecting? What for?" 
For gold." 

1 didn't know there was any gold in these 
mountains." 

"Nor I, until a few days ago. Now I think 
there is. I've been at work up here a week. I 
was just going to Rock Creek for some tools when 
the accident happened. I'll have to trudge along 
slowly. You're in a hurry, I suppose — I wish 
you weren't." 

Oh, I'm not, I have plenty of time." 
Then you would just as soon walk your horse 
and keep me company. It's pretty lonesome out 
here." 

"Yes— I know." 

As there were two paths now made by the 
wheels of wagons the two could be side by side 
as they talked. Julia from her point of vantage 
on horseback could well see the man, and she 
noted him carefully. Yes, her first impression 
of him was correct— he was good-looking. The 
mountain sun and air had browned him since she 
had first seen him. 



id 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 89 

**I thought you were interested in land," she 
said, innocently speaking what first came to her. 

**Well, I was; but I have given that up now. 
I think there are big prospects for mining here. 
1 have a couple of pretty good-looking holes 
already up there towards Old Thunder." 

There was silence for some time. Julia was 
thinking all sorts of wild things— thoughts that 
would not do to utter. They went so far as to 
imagine this big, handsome man taking her away 
from the prison of her mountain home to the 
big, bustling world without. And he, as he 
glanced at the graceful figure on the horse, also 
let his fancy run free. He had never seen quite 
such a girl before. This nut-brown nymph of 
the mountains, simple as nature, pure as the crys- 
tal stream, untutored in the worldly schools of 
society, yet displaying a keen knowledge of 
many things. This he had learned from their first 
conversation that day by the graves. Did she 
know, thought he, of his own early history? Had 
she been told the part his mother had played in 
her father's life? 

**You were not very talkative the Sunday I 
visited at Kney Ridge," he said. 

** Father did the talking," she replied. *' Young 
people should be still when older and wiser peo- 
ple are talking. ' ' 

*'I did a good deal of the talking," he sug- 
gested. 

'Well, I'll abide by my statement." 



c(- 



90 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

**Thank you," he laughed; **but I did want to 
ask you some questions about what I saw and 
heard at your Sunday gatherings." 

"Father is the one to ask about those things. 
He knows all about them." 

*'And so do you. You who have grown up here 
among your people and have had your religion 
bom and bred into you ought to give a better 
account of it than any one from the outside. You 
know I have found from my limited experience, 
that if I want to get'the straight of anything,! must 
get it first hand. Second-hand information takes on 
more or less of the nature of the medium through 
which it passes. If I want to know the truth about 
the doctrine of free-will and predestination I go 
to the Presbyterians ; if I wish to be informed on 
transubstantiation, I learn it from the Cath- 
olics." 

*'I never heard of these long-named things," 
said Julia. 

''Therefore, it would.be very foolish for me to 
go to you for information regarding them. Now, 
before I came out here I thought I knew all about 
the 'Mormons' and 'Mormonism,' but it was all 
very much biased and colored— second and third 
handed." 

"What religion do you belong to?" asked Julia, 
thinking she might as well know this while they 
were talking on the subject. 

The young man looked up quickly at her and 
smiled good-naturedly; but she was in earnest. 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 91 



He saw that she asked simply because she wanted 
to know. 

**Well, I don't think I belong to any church 
now. I believe I was christened in the Methodist 
church, but during school days, and since, I have 
not thought about religion much— I am sorry to 
say" — ^this last he thought he ought to add though 
it was not quite the truth. 

* 'I' ve neverjassociated with any e else but Lat- 
ter-day Saints —you know we call ourselves that, 
not *Mormons,' though I've no objection to being 
called a *Mormon.' Mormon was a good man, 
and the Book of Mormon is a great and good 
book.'' 

**I believe you— yes; I've been reading this 
Book of Mormon. I got interested in the lesson 
given by your father that Sunday, so I got a copy 
and have been reading it up here in the moun- 
tams during resting times." 

**As I was going to say," resumed Julia, com- 
ing back to an unfinished thought, *'I have never 
spoken to any one in my life, that I can now 
remember, who was not a * Mormon' — until you 
came. So, according to your theory, I ought to 
be pretty good authority on 'Mormonism'— and 
on nothing else. But I fear I would be a poor one 
to give any information on that subject." 

They came to a crossing where Chester had to 
mount his horse to get across. While in the 
stream, they stopped to let their horses drink. 
On the other side, Chester again dismounted 



92 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

and bathed his horse's lame leg in the cool water. 
Julia alighted also, tightened her saddle girth, 
and then stood watching her companion. When 
he led his horse from the stream and proffered to 
help her on her pony, Julia said she was going to 
walk for a while. 

"Speaking of books," said Julia as they 
walked along with horses following, * 'father has 
been very careful in his selection. We have a 
lot of them at home. I think I have read every 
one of Miss Alcott's books. Of course, you 
wouldn't read such.'' 

He acknowledged that he had not, at any rate. 

*'When I was away from home that year at- 
tending school, I read some books that I'm sure 
father would not have considered wise. I remem- 
ber one or two leaving a terrible impression on 
my mind, and I did so want to talk to some one 
about them. There were a good many things in 
them that I could not understand ; but all the way 
through, you know, this thought would come to 
me: Oh, why did not these people understand 
the gospel? All this suflEering would then have 
oeen avoided. All the terrible doubts and fears 
and misunderstandings could easily have been 
made right." 

"What books were they I" 

"One was Matthew Arnold's 'Nemesis of 
Faith,' another was Mrs. Deland's 'John Ward, 
Preacher.' Mrs. Ward's 'Robert Elsmere' was 
not so bad, but these and others were all sad 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 93 

enough. I think Mrs. Ward is a wonderful 
writer; and those English authors that tell of 
English country life just charm me. It must be 
beautiful over there. Have you ever been to Eng- 
land?" 

He had not. Had he ever read *' John Ward. 
Preacher/' if so, what did he think of the preach- 
er's actions in leaving his wife? 

* 'You've got me again," he laughed. **The 
school I went to didn't teach religion or the 
things of the heart. That's the difEerence in your 
training and mine." 

They came in view of the houses of Rock 
Creek. * 'We're soon there," remarked Julia. 

*'The road has been short and very pleasant, 
thanks to you. Miss Elston. I wanted to 
talk to you further, I really did— about your 
religion— but we won't have time today. I hope 
I shall see you again soon. How long do you 
remain here?" 

**0h, I'm going back tomorrow." 

*'This way?" 

''I think so." 

•'Perhaps I may have company again then. 1 
must get back to my digging tomorrow." 

"Why— why, I guess so." 

"Good. When shall we start?" 

"It had better be before noon sometime— say 
ten o'clock." 

"All right, I'll watch for you." 

Julia did not realize what she was saying and 



it 

1 



94 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

doing. Chester Lawrence's presence did not 
create any fear. He did not appear to her as a 
stranger, rather as if she had known him a long 
time. They came to the parting roads where 
they must separate. The sun was nearing the 
western hills. She had been a long time making 
this trip, longer than ever before. Still they 
lingered. 

Miss Elston," said he, slowly and earnestly, 

I want you to trust me. I am a stranger, I 
know, but I want you to trust me as a true friend." 
Oh, I do, Mr. Lawrence." 
Thank you. You shall never regret it. We 
want to be good friends." 

'*Why, yes; you are, you know— a kind of 
brother to me." 

He looked into her innocent face, and his heart 
burned within him as it had never done before. 

"You know, then— you know?" he asked. 

**Yes, I know. Father has told me the whole 
story." 

"And knowing, you can still call me brother?" 

"Why, yes; it is for that reason that I can. I 
never had a brother, you know." 

"And I never had a sister. I thank you. May 
you never regret calling me brother— or more. 
Here, let me help you to your saddle." 

She sprang lightly to her horse ignoring his 
proflEered help. **Good night," she said as she 
galloped oflE. He stood looking after her a few 
moments, then with his own lame horse he took 
the other road. 



CHAPTER IX. 

The air is usually cool and crisp until ten 
o'clock in that high altitude, especially in the fall 
of the year. Julia's coat was well buttoned as 
she galloped against the breeze up the road to 
meet Chester Lawrence. He was already wait- 
ing for her, astride another horse with a pack at 
his back. 

"Good morning," he gave greeting ; "you are 
on time. I was thinking it was perhaps a little 
early to have you come out." 

"Oh, no, I'm used to getting up early." 

They fell into the road side by side, and Chester 
could not help noticing the riding cap on her shape- 
ly head, the snug-fitting coat, the gray skirt and 
thick-soled shoes. She sat gracefully on her 
horse as they galloped along,Chester's light pack 
allowing him to do this. 

The young man was happy that morning as he 
seemed to live in the fullness of life : the grandeur 
of the mountains, the bracing air, the feeling of 
freedom, and then the close companionship of 
the girl who had already touched his heart. Per« 
haps it was this latter fact that had trans- 
muted the wilderness of mountain and plain to a 
region of enchantment. 

But what about the girl herself? Was she not 
very foolish to thus accompany a comparative 
stranger for a day in the mountains? Yes, she 



96 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

certaiiily was taking: risks; but in this instance, 
thanks be to the Lord^there was no danger. Ches- 
ter Lawrence, though worldly in many ways, was 
yet a pure man. As a fifteen year old boy 
he had discovered the mystery regarding his lack 
of a father, and the years following that discov- 
ery he had thought much of what it meant. Who- 
ever, wherever his father was, he had b^fon 
to hate him, and all such as he. As he grew to 
understanding, he resolved to himself that never 
would he be guilty of the sin of his father. It 
had not been altogether easy for him, for he had 
been thrown into many Idnds of society; but he 
strengthened himself in many ways. He avoided 
the company of immoral boys ; he would not lis- 
ten to **smutty" stories; he trained himself to 
think pure thoughts; he chose his books care- 
fully; and never attended the cheap, low-class 
shows of which the cities were full. All this may 
appear somewhat far-fetched for a modem boy 
in modem America, but it is true nevertheless. 
Chester made this thing his hobby. It became 
the ruling thought of his life, until now at a 
man's age the habit of chastity had become fixed. 
He now realized more fully what he had won. He 
had retained his manhood. He was not a craven, 
a slave to passion. He was free in very deed, 
free in spirit and in body, and he glorified in his 
freedom and his strength. He could look any pure 
man or woman unflinchingly in the eye. What a 
glorious privilege was this ! 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 97 

I 

And Julia, pure as the angels — and naturally 
so. Her purity was simply the retaining of a 
childhood heritage. She had had no need of 
strenuous effort to retain that priceless boon. 
Purity had grown with her growth ; it was a part 
of her being. Though innocent, she was not alto- 
gether ignorant. She had learned much from 
the girls' classes in the Mutual Improvement 
Association, and in her reading she had learned 
that there is a sin of unchastity, terrible in its 
oflEects ; but it had appealed to her as something 
afar off from her— something pertaining to the 
big world beyond the mountains and not to her 
simple life at Piney Ridge Cottage. 

So there was no danger to those two as they 
rode up the mountain path that morning. Each 
protected by the armor of virtuous thoughts and 
pure deeds these two could safely go anywhere 
together. 

'*Isn't this a glorious morning?" asked Julia. 
"I think there's nothing quite so lovely as a 
beautiful autumn day." 

"Especially up here in the mountains,'' 
added he. 

*'I have often wondered whether the sea is as 
beautiful as the mountains. Have you ever been 
on the seal" 

"1 have been near the sea a number of times, 
but never taken an extended trip on it." 

"I understand it's awful to be seasick. I have 
heard the missionaries that have been to Europe 
tell of it." 

7 



98 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

The mention of missionaries seemed to provide 
a good opening for talking along the line he had 
wanted, Dut it was difficult to keep up a con- 
nected conversation from the backs of galloping 
horses. Presently they came to the steeper 
hills, so the horses were reined in to a walk. 

"Yesterday," said he, "you remember we were 
speaking of religion, and I wanted you to tell me 
about yours. Why not do that now?" 

"Oh, Mr. Lawrence," she excliaimed in alarm, 
"I can't; I don't know how— you will have to 
read about it from books." 

"Books are dead things; you are alive— your 
life is a living religion. All you need to do is 
just to talk — ^tell your thoughts and feelings and 
hopes, and that will be your religion— that will be 
'Mormonism' " 

She looked at the rider by her side, not quite 
understanding him. "What shall I talk about?" 
she asked. "How shall I begin? Father has said 
that he was going to have me called on a mis- 
sion to preach the gospel. I guess it's already 
here," she said merrily. 

"Yes; your mission has commenced, and I'm 
your first congregation. But does your church 
send ladies on missions?'* 

"Sometimes. I'd like to go." 

"Perhaps you will. Practice on me. But seri- 
ously, perhaps I can help you by asking you some 
questions." 

"I wish you would." 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 99 

**Well, what is *Monnoiiism?'— but that's a poor 
beginning. The question's too big." 

**Wait— I believe I can answer it." She 
thought for a moment -then she said, " 'Mormon- 
ism,' or in other words, the Gospel of Jesus 
Christ, is life— my life, your life, everybody's 
life — eversrthing from the time long before we 
came to this earth until we get to heaven — that 
is, to the celestial kingdom." 

**Well, I must say that your answer is about as 
broad as my question. But you said 'before we 
came to this earth.' What does that mean?" 

"Why, this life isn't the beginning. We lived 
in a spirit world before we were bom." 

"And before that?" 

"Before what?" 

"Before that spirit world. Where was the 
beginning?" 

"Oh, there's never been any beginning. Of 
course there are beginnings of certain events and 
conditions, but that's not any real beginning, any 
more than there can be an end. There can't be 
any such things, just as there can't be any begin- 
ning to time or space— but these things are too 
deep for me. I always get lost when I try to 
think about them. You'll have to read Joseph 
Smith and Orson Pratt on these subjects." 

He was about to ask about Orson Pratt, but 
did not wish to lead away from the subject in hand. 

"You know," she continued, "we lived with 
our Heavenly Father and Mother in that spirit 






100 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

« 

world. Then the earth was made for us, and we 
were sent here to get bodies, and to become per- 
fect like unto our heavenly parents. We, that 
is our spiritual selves, mufet have bodies in which 
to dwell. This earth is like a school, where we 
learn things that we could not learn in the spirit 
world. We must obey the gospel and then live 
good lives, so that we may be saved.'' 
What is the gospel?'' 

Don't you know? Well, the first principle is 
faith, then repentance, then we must be baptized 
and be confirmed members of the Church." 

"What is being saved?" 

This seemed too much for the fair preacher. 
She knitted her brows and looked wise for a time 
"Now I remember what father said it is : 'To be 
saved is to conquer all our enemies.' " 

It was the young man's turn to knit the brow. 
I don't quite understand," he said. 
I don^t either, but it's something like this : A 
quick temper is an enemy. If a person can con- 
trol a quick temper, he is saved from many 
unpleasant things. I remember father using that 
illustration to me— I needed it. Tobacco and 
whisky are enemies to men. When men over- 
come these enemies, they are saved from the evil 
they bring. And so on to everything." 

"I see," said he; "yes, that's true. I can carry 
the principle out further. Every sin is an enemy. 
When we overcome every sin — ^when sin has no 
more power over us — then we are saved." 






PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 101 






til 



That's right." 

1 see also that this sort of reasoning will 
not allow of ignorance. One must learn the laws 
of nature and of God, so as to be fortified 
against breaking them. Is not that true?" 

*'Yes; Joseph Smith taught that a man is 
saved no faster than he gets knowledge." 

*'And this makes salvation a continuous pro- 
cess, and not something that can come to one in- 
stantaneously. It's certainly more reasonable. 
Now, what do you understand by heaven?*' 

"Well, when every sin, every enemy has been 
conquered, then we are in heaven, aren't we?" 
1 suppose so, but—" 

Sickness, and sorrow, and death are caused 
by sin. When these are no more, then we are in 
heaven." 

"Can that be reached here — on this earth, in 
this life?*' 

"Not altogether. We must all die, but we are 
promised a resurrection; and this earth also will 
become pure and holy as our bodies will be. Then 
heaven will also be a place as well as a con- 
dition." . 

They had now reached the steep climb up to 
the divide. His trail led in another direction; 
but he was not willing that they should separate 
yet. What were gold mines found in rocks to 
this one in the soul of a sweet girl 1 

"Wouldn't you like to see my mine?" he asked. 
*'It isn't far away, and you have plenty of time." 



102 PlNEVr BIDaE COTTAGE 

"Can I get across the hill back to my trail?" 

"Yes; from that ridge yonder you can see 
Piney Ridge Cottage, and the road is plainly 
marked.*' 

"Sure?" 

"Yes; I have been there many times and 
looked down on you." 

"I'd like to see a gold mine," she said as she 
pulled her horse into his trail. "Go ahead. I'll 
follow." 

The discussion on theology had to be aband- 
oned. The climb was steep, and the latter part 
of the way they dismounted and walked. 

"You'll not see a mine," he explained; "only a 
prospector's hole. After awhile perhaps I can 
show you a mine." 

Up they climbed, pausing to rest now and 
then. The waters of Rock Creek became a faint 
murmur below them. They walked carefully 
around jagged rocks, and picked their way over 
beds of broken stone. At last they came to a 
little flat on which was a small tent. 

"Here we are!" shouted Chester. "Welcome 
to Old Thunder mining camp." 

The miner fastened his horse, and then relieved 
Julia of hers. He brought from the tent a box, 
which he placed for her. "Here, sit and rest 
while I get a lunch for us." 

She remonstrated, but he said it was noon and 
eating time. The dinner would be simple, not 
having the cream and milk of Piney Ridge Cottage 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 103 

to draw from. He busied himself in and around 
the tent, and soon the lunch was ready, spread 
on another box near the tent. '*I won't oflfer you 
canned milk," he said, "and 1 know you do not 
drink coflfee, but here's water which your famous 
spring down home cannot beat." 

*' Where's the minef ' she asked, as she took a 
sandwich. 

"Just around that ledge. We'll see it after din- 
ner. These peaches are good." he said as he 
dished some from a can. "I know, or I wouldn't 
oflfer you them." 

"They are just lovely," she agreed. 

They were high up on Old Thunder's side, 
much higher than Julia had ever been. They 
could see over a low range of mountains into an- 
other valley and then across that to another range. 
Rock Creek village lay below them,the water from 
the stream making a long line of green into the 
distant plain. The autumn haze filled the 
distance. The morning breeze had ceased. 
Silence and solitude enveloped the man and 
the woman on the moimtain. 

He lay half reclining on the ground on the 
opposite side of the cracker-box table. After he 
was through eating, he wanted to smoke, but he 
would not do it in her presence. "It's easy to be 
good with you," he said to himself, and would 
have liked to say it to her. 

'You live in Chicago, don't youf ' asked she. 

'Yes, when I am at home." 






104 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



^That's a big city, I understand." 

"Yes, big, and black, and noisy. I want to 
tell you what came to my mind just now." 

"All right," she suggested after he had gazed 
out into space for a time. 

"I was just thinking that out here on the 
mountains i§ the ideal place to commune with 
God, whether chat God is the life of the world and 
lives in all nature, or whether, as some hold, the 
inner man himself is the Supreme Being. Here 
one gets away from all distracting influences, 
and there is a feeling of calm and rest. Right in 
the thick of Chicago's bustle and roar and dirt 
there is a Catholic Church. Its door is always 
open, as are all Catholic churches, and any one 
may go in at any time to rest and pray. You 
know, sometimes I have slipped in there, not to 
pray, but just to rest. The light comes dim and 
mellow through the stained-e:lass windows. There 
is a hush, and quiet thoughts take one away 
from the world. I am reminded of that far-off 
church now, here in the quietness of this moun- 
tain." 

1 thought you said you are not religious.'' 
'I am not, not in the way I have been taught 
religion ; perhaps I could be here in the moun- 
tains, with— with you people." 

"Come to Sunday School, or go down to Rock 
Creek, that being nearer — but I am forgetting 
myself. I must be going.'* 

He fetched her horse, and then they went 






PINET RIDGE COTTAGE 105 

around the ledge to look at the mine. It was, as 
he had said, just a big hole in the side of the 
mountain. He picked up some pieces of ore- 
bearing rock, and tried to find gold traces with 
his microscope for her to see ; but not an indica- 
tion could he find. 

"I have found some traces," he explained, *'but 
I shall have to go deeper to determine if there's 
anything worth while." 

Then he accompanied her across the ravine 
and up to the ridge from which he pointed out 
the trail leading out into Dry Hollow. It was not 
steep, so she could ride, and he helped her into 
the saddle. 

**Good-by,'* she said, as she reached out her 
hand. "Thank you for your company." 

"The pleasure has all been mine,*' he replied. 
"When may I see you againl" 

"Oh, I don't know when I shall go to Rock 
Creek again; but you may come to our meeting.'* 

"And to Piney Ridge Cottagel" 

"I— I don't know; but Til ask father." 

"No; don't do that. I'll come to Sunday 
School— good-by. I wish I could see more of 
you. I wish I could be more in your company— 
you help me so." 

"Help you?'* 

"Yes; you help me against my enemy; and I 
believe now that I must have some help to be 
saved. 1*11 tell you sometime about that — I'll tell 



106 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 






younow that it's easy to be good where you are." 
Why, Mr. Lawrence— I—'' 

^No ; you don't understand ; but never mind ; 
it's true nevertheless. Now you'll have to go; 
but you'll help me, won't you?" 

'* Why, certainly. I'm your sister, don't for- 
get." Her horse was already picking his way 
carefully down the hill. Chester stood and 
watched her, tempted to say more ; but he only 
said before she got out of hearing : 

* I'll not forget." 



CHAPTER X. 

Chester Lawrence did not discover in the 
mountains any gold worth speaking of; but he 
found riches in books that give joy unspeakable 
here and can be laid up as treasures in heaven. 
He spent less time digging and more time read- 
ing. After finishing the Book of Mormon, he 
borrowed more books from the farmers of Eock 
Creek, one of whom had a copy of Orson Pratt's 
works, which Chester obtained. What a mine of 
wealth he found in it ! His mind was somewhat 
of a philosophic turn, but never had he applied it 
to the study of theology. He had come to be- 
lieve that religion and philosophy had nothing in 
common, but here in these '*Mormon" books he 
found the most profound philosophical reasoning 
applied to theological subjects. A new field of 
thought opened up before him, and the eyes of his 
understanding ranged far over the spiritual world, 
as did his natural eyes look down on the natural 
world from the mountains. 

With book in hand the young man often went 
to the elevation from which he could look 
down on Piney Ridge Cottage. There he would 
sit, read, and think. What a peculiar pass he 
had come to! He, the dweller in cities, the trav- 
eler on railroads now living contentedly on a 
lonely mountain ! He who had been sent to spy 



108 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

out the land, as it were, for some promised Ca- 
naan — was he being taken captive by the Canaan- 
ites? He who had been taught from his infancy 
to hate the so-called "Mormon" people and their 
religion was now wrapped up in them and study- 
ing that religion with an eagerness and a delight 
that he had never displayed in anything before. 
What would his mother say when she heard of it? 
Then a doubt crept into his mind regarding 
the wisdom of his mother's action in leaving this 
man Elston. What if he might have taken an- 
other wife? It was bad enough to be sure, but 
there could be worse things— he had seen much 
worse conditions. This man had loved his mother, 
would have continued to love her and provide for 
hei^-and he was a man — a big, clean, pure man. 
He had taken his mother, forgiven her, cherished 
her, given her an honorable name. He, himself, 
might have had a father's name. Well, he didn't 
know. He would not condemn his mother. She 
had suffered, and if the truth were known, she 
had repented many times of her doings in this 
thing. Yet, she had kept her heart hard. She 
had been bitter towards her former people— and 
Chester could not quite understand that. Save, 
perhaps, for this principle of plural marriage, 
which was now no longer practiced, he could not 
see what objection people could have to "Mor- 
monism." As far as he had read, he had found 
nothing but what was good and true and beauti- 
ful. Then how could it be possible that a people 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 109 

who had purity, honor, integrity, love of God — in 
fact, all the Christian virtues bom and bred in 
them— how could it be possible that such a peo- 
ple could be fundamentally bad? He could even 
admit that such a people could practice a plural- 
ity of wives in a much different way and for dif- 
ferent motives than the world at large could. 

Chester looked down on Piney Ridge. With 
his glass, he could distinguish the house from the 
bam, and the garden from the field ; but he was 
too far away to see any moving figures, though 
he tried. That spot of green contained a fasci- 
nating attraction for him. What was Julia doing 
this afternoon? Did she help her father in the 
fieldl He knew they worked much together, he 
in the house and she outdoors. The harvesting 
was on, and help was hard to get. She was not a 
large girl, but her well-shaped limbs, firm and 
hardened would not easily tire. He had never 
met such a girl — such a combination of qualities 
and capabilities, some of which he had always 
heard lay wholly outside woman's sphere. She 
was not educated as a school girl ; she did not 
have the polish of the society girl ; her dress was 
not in style ; her language was imperfect ; and 
yet there was something about her that appealed 
to this man of the world— something he could not 
describe— something not discernible to the five 
senses. He did not know what it was, only there 
was a bitter-sweet burning in his heart when he 
thought of Julia Elston. 



110 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



What was he studying "Mormonism'' fori he 
asked himself. Was it for Julia, or for the truth 
it containedl He examined himself closely, and 
was glad when he could truthfully say Julia or no 
Julia, these principles appealed to him. Of 
course, the girl lent a certain zest to it all ; she 
was the inspirer, she had introduced him to these 
things, but— 

Chester arose, went down the ridge towards his 
camp. He would have to quit his digging, at 
least for the present, until he could get means to 
go down deeper. But he was loath to leave. The 
wild had obtained a hold on him. He hated the 
thoughts of going back to Chicago. 

He walked out on another ridge, following it 
until he came to where it dipped into a big round 
valley. It was aptly called Sage Valley, for 
there was nothing but sage-brush in it, from 
rim to rim, five miles apart. Near the end of the 
ledge was a narrow pass,containing great rocks of 
peculiar shapes. Some stood like rains of medi- 
8Bval castles, some contained rounded-out holes 
big enough to hold half a dozen persons. Here, 
thought Chester,- a hundred men could with- 
stand an army. Perhaps in this very spot the 
Nephites and Lamanites fought some of their 
desperate battles. The valley was desolation 
itself. Even Indians, he had been told, avoided 
it. How long had it lain thus, scorching under 
the summer sun, buried under the winter snows? 
How long would it yet remain without the touch 



PINET RIDGE COTTAGE 111 

of human hands, without the sound of human 
sighs or laughter ! 

Day after tomorrow he would move his camp 
down to Rock Creek and next day he would visit 
Julia's Sunday School as he had promised. 

Sunday morning Chester rode on horseback 
along the lower road to the schoolhouse. He 
arrived early. A number of young men were 
straightening the seats, dusting them and getting 
the books from the cupboard in the comer. Then 
one by one the teams drove up and the people 
greeted each otlier pleasantly. The talk was 
mostly on the subject of threshing, which was then 
in full swing. Chester took a seat in the comer 
where he had been before. The superintendent 
recognized him again and chatted with him a few 
moments. Then came Mr. Elston and Julia. 
Julia walked past him,but her father went up and 
shook his hand. Then Julia came back and did 
likewise. Soon the school was in full swing, after 
which came the usual meeting. Among the 
speakers was a young man, Glen Curtis by name, 
called from the congregation, who he learned 
was a resident of the Flat and who had been 
away from home teaching school. He spoke on 
the need of education, showing how the Latter- 
day Saints believe in and provide for it. 

After the services, Mr. Elston asked Chester 
to accompany them home, which request he 
gladly accepted; but he was not the only guest. 
Either by Julia's invitation or one of his own, the 



112 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

young preacher also mounted his horse and fell in 
behind the Elston buggy. Julia saw them look 
at each other strangely, so she asked her father 
to introduce them to each other, which he did. 
They immediately fell to talking pleasantly until 
they arrived at Piney Ridge Cottage. Julia hur- 
ried into the house while the three men attended 
to the horses, and then took their time to look 
around. 

"I haven't much of a wheat crop this year," 
explained Mr. Elston, and sometimes I have 
quite a time in e:etting the threshers to stop for 
my small stack. They are coming this way from 
Rock Creek next Tuesday, and they have prom- 
ised to stop and pound out my few bushels." 

The father was in no hurry to go into the house 
and the young men were glad to linger outside also, 
each of them expecting the other would mount 
his horse and ride off. But not so. Farmer Els- 
ton explained in detail his little farm and then 
showed them the spring in the hillside, coming 
around at last to the garden in front. 

"This," said the owner, "is our flower garden. 
We believe in flowers, you see. It isn't usual, 
I know, in this land of water scarcity to divert 
the precious fluid from wheat and potatoes to 
pinks and sweet-williams and hoUihocks; but 
we— Julia and I— have the reputation, at leagt, 
of being extravagant, and we must keep up our 
reputation. We are not spendthrifts, however; 
we are philosophers. Where are flowers more 







PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 113 

needed than here? Who need flowers more than 
we, surrounded as we are by a dreary waste?" 
'You're right," agreed each of the young men. 
'But we have neglected our garden of late, 
having been so busy with our harvesting— but 
let's go in the house." 

Julia was ready for them, the wise father 
having given her the required time. She received 
them at the front door, a big white apron cover- 
ing her from head to foot. Everything within 
that house was in exact order. Every speck of 
dust had disappeared. They all went into the 
front room, but Julia soon excused herself, and 
hurried into the kitchen, from which came the 
rattle of dishes and the fore-tokens of savory 
cooking. 

The conversation ranged among a variety of 
subjects: crops, dry-farming, the cattle market, 
school teaching, mining. Mr. Elston asked about 
Mr. Lawrence's mining prospects, and he 
explained that he had given it up for the present. 
Oh, a miner, thought Glen. 

"I believe," said the father, "that all these 
hills contain valuable minerals. We Latter-day 
Saints have been censured for not doing more min- 
ing; but I believe it was good policy to develop our 
agricultural resources first, for without that there 
could be very little success in mining. Well, I'm 
sorry your prospects did not turn out as well as 
you had hoped. Julia told me about your camp 
up on the side of Old Thunder." 

8 



114 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

What! Julia been visiting his mines! said Glen 
to himself. There was a slight sinking of the 
heart at the news. 

Then Mr. Elston talked of early days, which 
was not so interesting to Glen as it was to Ches- 
ter. It is to be feared that more than one mind 
traveled back and forth to and from the kitchen 
that Sunday afternoon. 

"All ready," announced Julia. 

They went into the living room, where the 
table was set for four. Each occupied one side 
of the square table. Glen was asked to bless the 
food, and then Mr. Elston began to pass the var- 
ious dishes. 

'*I think both of you," said the^ father, **under- 
stand our rule of having cold meals on Sunday ; 
so I had better explain why we are having 
stewed chicken—" 

"Father!'* protested Julia, blushing; "you 
needn't make any explanation.*' 

But he would not be deprived of his little joke, 
gO he continued: "When I caught my house- 
keeper yesterday sroing to the chopping-block 
with a squeaking chicken in one hand and an ax 
in the other, she explained the situation by say- 
ing, *We might have visitors tomorrow.' " 

"Well, wasn't my guess right!" she exclaimed 
boldly, thus covering her confusion in the best 
way. 

The chicken was tender and good. Then there 
were rich cream gravy, mealy potatoes, and big 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 115 

slices of home-made bread. For drinking there 
were cool, sweet milk, butter-milk, and cold,clear 
water from the spring. Afterwards, there was 
pie, made from the native black currants. 
The young men enjoyed every bit of it. Clean, 
tasty, simple — these appealed to the man from . 
the East. The fact that it was Julia's dinner at 
Julia's table seemed to give the neighbor's boy 
the most pleasure. Two hearts rose at the fath- 
er's little sally— she was expecting someone ; and 
then each thought. Which one? Two hearts sank 
again— and Julia, radiant with happiness, looked 
first at one and then at the other, all unconscious 
of the alternating currents of joy and pain cours- 
ing through those young men's hearts. 

**Do you like the pie?'* asked Mr. Elston of 
Chester. 

Lovely. What's it made of T" 
Native currants. A really fine fruit very much 
neglected. I have cultivated it until the berries 
are as big as small cherries. There is no finer 
small fruit grown, and yet very few people know 
of it." 

After dinner, the men went back to the front 
room. Julia cleared the table. 

*'May I help you wash the dishesT" asked 
Glen, going to the door. 

"You don't know how," was the reply. 

*'I do," said Chester behind him. 

*'Both of you go back and entertain father- 
by letting him talk to you," she ordered. "I'll be 



a- 
a- 



44- 
44- 



116 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

with you in a few minutes." And in an incredibly 
short time she was. Her apron was off, and even 
the coils of her brown hair had received attention. 
She took a seat in a comer and listened to the 
conversation. 

**Your folks haven't threshed yet, have they!" 
the father asked Glen. 

*'I think they expect the threshers the latter 
part of the week.*' 

"Then you're not so busy— I wonder if you 
could help us here Tuesday?" 
Why, certainly." 

'You see, it won't be long, but while it lasts, 
it will keep all of us going pretty fast. Julia and 
I are hardly equal to it. Besides, Julia will have 
to feed the threshers once, and you know what 
that means." 

*'I do," he agreed, looking at her as if in pity 
for the job ahead of her. 

"I, too, would very much like to come and 
help," said Chester. 

Mr. Elston .looked at him. "Have you ever 
worked at a threshing machine?" 

"Never— never seen one." 

"Well, you might pitch straw at the tail end of 
the straw carrier, ah, GlenT" and the speaker 
winked merrily at Glen. Chester saw the play 
and asked what it meant. 

"Well, my wheat is quite clean this year; but 
there's always some smut and a good deal of 
dust, and it all comes out with the straw. You'll 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 117 

have to wear goggles over your eyes and a sponge 
over your nose and then keep your mouth shut." 

**rm game," said Chester. 

*'You want a job pretty badly, I see?'' 

"I'm out of one just now; and I believe in tak- 
ing the first one that is oflEered until a better one 
turns up." 

*'A good rule. You're hired. The wages will 
be small." 

*'I shall be paid when I have that threshers' 
meal of Miss Julia's cooking." * 

Glen had to smile with the rest, but — 

*'I think, Julia, we can sing a song now," said 
Mr. Elston. "We haven't a piano yet, and our 
organ is old; but I like it. There's something 
about the sustained notes of an organ that 
appeals to me more than the thump, thump of a 
piano." 

Julia reluctantly and with many excuses seated 
herself at the organ. She played fairly well some 
familiar hymns and songs. The three men stood 
around all trying to look at the one book on the 
organ. The eyes of the young men stealthily left 
the book to glance at the organist and then at 
each other. They sang '*0 ye Mountains 
High," "For the Strength of the Hills,' and 
others in which Chester could not join. 

Then they went out. The afternoon was pass- 
ing, and the open drew them away from the close 
room. They climbed the hill above the house to 

et a better view. They found some choke- 



118 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

cherries which Glen broke away in branches, 
from which they picked the fruit. Chester noticed 
that Julia and Glen ate from the same twig, she 
not having one of her own. She chatted gaily 
with him now, looked fearlessly into his face as 
though they understood each other perfectly. * 'It's 
no use for me," thought Chester. "I might as 
well give up hope now— if I can." 

But presently there was a shifting. Mr. Elston 
detained Glen, and Julia took Chester up on a 
higher knoll to show him a beautiful prospect. 
Glen could see them in profile against the gray 
sky. She was talking and pointing into the val- 
ley below. Then she would look up at Chester. 
Her laugh echoed over the hills, and although it 
was not loud, it drowned the father's words to 
Glen. *Td better get away,'' he thought. "Pm a 
fool for being here in the way. Anybody can 
plainly see the drift of things. Poor Julia!"— he 
meant ' 'poor me . " 

But Julia came back, and with her came hope. 
They all saw the sun go down and Chester 
declared that a sunset on the ocean was not more 
beautiful. Then they went back to the cottage by 
way of the graveyard. They paused for a few 
moments to look within the enclosure, and then 
went on. Mr. Elston and Chester were walking 
together. 

Ber mother lies there," said Mr. Elston. 

'Yes, so I imderstand.'* 

She was your mother's friend— one of her 



44 

44- 

44i 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 119 

best friends. She loved your mother dearly." 
The young man said nothing. His companion 
continued, "You said you were not busy for a 
few days. Stay here with us. I want to talk to 
you more. I feel that you have come into our 
lives. I want you to understand us, to under- 
stand me, so that when you go back to your 
mother, you may represent us as we are; will 
you?" 

"Yes." 

They were at the bars of the pasture where 
the cows stood waiting. "Julia," said the father, 
"Mri Lawrence is going to visit with us a few 
days -until after threshing, anyway— we'll stay 
here until you fetch the milk bucket— and bring 
my overalls, too." 

Julia and Glen went on together to the house 
where she got the bucket and the overalls. After 
delivering these to her father, she came back to 
the garden where Glen had remained in a de- 
pressed mood. She saw it and smiled at him 
from behind a bush. 

"Cheer up. Glen," she said. "You are in the 
dumps, which isn't fair— on Sunday." 

"I'll have to be going," he replied. He walked 
to were his horse was grazing, Julia following. 
He bridled his horse,but no sooner had he done so 
than Julia took the reins and held them behind 
her back. 

Glen, what's the matter?" she asked soberly. 
Nothing— only I must be going — and— and you 



"I 

44' 



120 PINEY BIDaE COTTAGE 



i4- 



have plenty of company, anyway, without me." 
'Well— of course — but, I'll see you Tuesday/' 
1 don't know. Maybe I can't come. May I 

have my horse T" 
She handed him the lines and he mounted his 

horse. 

Good night," she said. 

Good night," he replied as he galloped off. 



(4i 



CHAPTER XI. 

The next morning after breakfast, Chester 
Lawrence rode off to Rock Creek, promising to 
be back again in the afternoon. When he had 
gone, Mr. Elston went back to Julia, who was 
just finishing the dishes. He waited until she 
had cleared the last dish away and had washed 
and wiped her hands. Surmising that her father 
wished to speak to her, she seated herself by the 
table as if to say, '*I'm ready, father, go ahead." 

*'I want to talk to you a few minutes, Julia, 
while Mr. Lawrence is away." 

*'A11 right." 

He drew his chair near to the table. 

"We've always been plain and open with each 
other, and we've found that to be the best. There 
is safety in it. And now we want to talk a few 
minutes about Chester Lawrence and Glen 
Curtis.'' 

Julia's eyes opened wide. "What is the mat- 
ter with them?" she asked. 

"Nothing the matter, my gii*l — ^not that I know 
of; but both of them think a lot of you." 
Well, I think they're both nice, too." 
But what they think is well on the way to go 
beyond the 'nice' point. If things go on with 
them and you as it did yesterday, for instance. 



t4- 

4i- 



122 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

you'll soon have two proposals of marriage to 
listen to/* 

"Why, father! I don't want to get married— I 
don't want one proposal; but surely—" 

**I know, my girl, you may not have thought 
about such things very seriously; but you're a 
woman now, and they'll soon come to you with 
force. These men see in you a woman, and I'll 
warrant both of them have thought of you as a 
prospective wife." 

Julia did not know whether to laugh or cry, so 
she did neither, but sat silently trying to control 
her conflicting emotions. The father continued: 
*'As I have told you before, some day 1 want my 
girl to get a good husband. That's the natural 
and perfectly proper wish of every parent; I 
want that husband to be the one the Lord has 
for her. I don't want you to make any mistake 
in this matter, for that would be a very serious 
one indeed. Your future happiness, and to a 
great extent your usefulness, depend on the kind 
of marriage you make. Girls should put their 
love in the Lord's safe keeping and ask him to 
guard it until the right one comes to claim it." 
I have, father." 

Yes; I believe you have. I believe you're 
safe, my girl. I can trust you to do the right 
because you go to both your heavenly Father and 
your earthly parent for advice * * ♦ Now, 
I want to explain why I asked Mr. Lawrence to 
our house. In the first place, as you know, there 



t4- 
4k- 



PINET EIDGE COTTAGE 123 

is a sort of tie between us. I want to show him 
that I — ^in fact, we Latter-day Saints— are not 
the kind of people he has been led to believe. I 
can do this better by having him live with us that 
he may see our daily lives. I want him to go 
back to his mother a different man than when he 
left her. If he can be a second message-bearer 
to her, I shall be pleased. In the fiecond place, I 
invited him here, knowing that he would see you 
anyway one way or another. Such men are not 
so easily frightened away. They are not like 
Glen, so sensitive that the least slight will drive 
them away. I wanted to get better acquainted 
with Chester. With him here in the house visit- 
ing with us, there is not the glamor that attaches 
itself to meetings on the mountains and other 
lonely places." 

Julia was quieted. She let her father talk im- 
interrupted. 

"I believe Chester is a good man as the world 
goes— much better than the average man of the 
world. He tells me he is investigating 'Mormon- 
ism.' I have no reason to doubt his sincerity; 
but I have known so many cases where the love 
of a girl instead of the love of the truth for truth's 
sake has been the motive back of the interest in 
the gospel, that my suspicions are excusable. Let 
us test him. Let us treat him as a brother and 
a friend, and help him all we can; but you are 
not to fall in love with him, Julia." 



124 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

The tears got the better of Julia's inclination to 
laugh. 

"Don't forget what I have so often told you," 
he continued, "the first and the one absolute 
qualification of a husband is that he must be a 
Latter-day Saint. With our knowledge of the 
gospel, this is essential. Then, as far as we can 
know, he must be a pure man. There are, of 
course, many other virtues which a husband 
should have, but unless he measures up to these 
first requirements, he is not to be thought of as a 
husband. As there is a beginning to all condi- 
tions, there is a beginning to a girl's infatuation 
for a man. We have heard talk of 'love at first 
sight,' as if it were something that we could not 
help— that came to us without our bidding. That is 
a mistake. Love never goes unless it is sent, 
love never abides unless it is received. Pure men 
and women never fall in love at first sight with 
those between whom it is unlawful. Brothers and 
sisters, if known to be such, do not fall in love, in 
the sense of which we are speaking, at first sight 
of each other. No ; these things are within our 
control in the beginning. The danger is when we 
play with forbidden things— and the one forbid- 
den thing for Julia Elston right now is that she 
must not fall in love with Chester Lawrence. It 
isn't forbidden because I say so, but because 
Julia Elston *s own standards say so." 

Julia sat immovable with hands under her chin 
and tears trickling unheeded down her cheeks. The 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 125 



father went around to her chair, placed his arm 
around her and drew her head to his side. The 
tears broke forth, and sobs came with them. He 
held her there closely, until she found relief, then 
she wiped her eyes and smiled again up to his 
face. 

'*! don't know why I cried," she said. *'I 
couldn't help it. * * * All you say is true, 
father. I have always believed as you have 
taught me. And let me tell you, so that you may 
be assured, I shall check any inclination to love 
Mr. Lawrence in any other way than a brother. 
In fact that's how I have always thought of him." 

"You're my good girl," said he. "God bless 
you and preserve you. * * As for Glen ; he's a 
good boy and the making of a good man, I be- 
lieve ; but I want you to understand that you are 
to be free in this matter—heart free to choose and 
decide when the Lord releases that love of yours 
which He has in safe keeping." He kissed her. 
"Now, then, we must go to work. The threshers 
are coming tomorrow." 

The coming of the threshers to Piney Ridge 
reminded Chester Lawrence of the circus of his 
boyhood days. There was the big threshing 
machine drawn by four horses, which resembled 
a huge cage of animals. Then came the "horse 
power," drawn by more big horses, and other 
wagons. The procession drew into the yard, and 
the thresher was placed alongside the wheat 
stack. The power machine was set, stakes being 



126 PINET EIDGE COTTAGE 

driven into the ground to hold everything fast. 
There was a general bustle of calling men, stamp- 
ing and neighing horses until everything was in 
readiness. The horses were in the sweeps, the 
driver with his whip was perched on the platform 
in the center of the "horse power.'' The feeder 
and the band-cutter took their positions near the 
intake by the big cylinder. Two men mounted 
the stack, one of whom was Glen Curtis. A boy 
stood ready to manage the straw. Chester had 
been assigned to the duty of carrying the wheat 
from the streaming spout to the bin. 

The crew had driven from the last stand after 
dinner. They were to finish Mr. Elston's stack,eat 
supper and get to the next place that night, 
therefore there was no loitering. One '*feed" was 
about all Mr. Elston's small stack could stand. 

Julia was deep in the work. She had tried to 
get some help, but at the last moment she had 
been disappointed. Her father assisted and even 
Chester had taken a hand in pealing potatoes. 
There was to be hot biscuits — ^that thresher's 
necessity— and "stacks" of potatoes and fried 
meat. Yet amid it all, she found time to peep 
out at the dusty men in the yard. 

"All ready." The bundles fell to the platform 
of the thresher where their wheaten bands were 
severed by one stroke of the cutter's knife. The 
driver carefully cracked his whip and touched his 
horses until they all tugged evenly at the sweeps. 
"Steady, there, steady. Get up, boys.'' Crack! 






PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 127 

'*Now then, there— steady." Crack! Slowly the 
sweeps moved around, the rod revolved and the 
big machine beeran to grate and whir. First there 
was a low rumble, then as wheels and belts 
and fans gathered speed, the rumble changed to 
a song in a higher key, which arose and fell in 
changing tones as the feeding was heavy or light. 
Steady, boys, steady,'' shouted the driver. 

Not too fast. Up a bit, there you.'' Crack! 
But everything ran smoothly, after the first few 
minutes of preparation, the bundles flew fast, the 
straw and chaff kept the boy working, the clean 
wheat rolled from the spout into the measure. 
In full swing they went, the steady hum of the 
machine sounding like a song of peace and 
plenty into the autumn air. 

In two hours the stack had gone, and the last 
chaff and straw were being fed into the thresher. 
The straw pile reached high. Chester's back was 
tired. The horses were slowed down. The song 
changed to the low rumble again, and then 
stopped. The horses were unhitched, stakes 
were pulled, rods and sweeps were disconnected 
and packed away. The horses were fed, and 
then the men, black with dust and dirt, filed 
along to the house. 

A wash basin or two would be an aggravation 
only to this crowd, so a ditch of running water 
was provided with plenty of soap and towels. 
Into this they sputtered, emerging with most of 
the dust from face and hands. They were a 



128 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



mixed lot of men, young and old, talkative and 
quiet. Julia received them in the living room 
and placed them around the two tables which she 
had provided. They threw their hats outside by 
the door. All of these men had heard of Piney 
Eidge Cottage and its mistress, and they entered 
with a little more deference than they did at the 
usual farm house. The cook had timed her meal 
well. The meat and potatoes were hot, the bis- 
cuits were steaming. Everything was on the table ; 
and it was simply, "Now then, help yourself." 
Julia made even her father sit down and eat with 
the rest. She had provided room for everyone. 

Julia stood for a moment arms akimbo, survey- 
ing the busy eaters. She was master of the situ- 
ation, and there was a glow of satisfaction in 
what she had done. Then she darted here and 
there, helping, suggesting, filling pitchers, heap- 
ing up warm biscuits, passing the gravy. Chester 
could not keep his eyes from her. He had at- 
tended graduating exercises, first nights and other 
high class functions, but this girl with white 
apron, and sleeves rolled up to elbow, with rosy 
face and smiling lips, had scored a triumph the 
equal of any he had ever witnessed; and Glen, 
too, was glad that he had overcome his fit of vexa- 
tion and had come to this threshing. Julia, he 
thought, smiled very sweetly on him, and saw 
to it that he was well supplied. 

Then, after supper, there was hitching up 
again and oflE. The next stand must be made 



PINEY KIDGE COTTAGE 129 

before dark, and there was no time to lose. 
Chester and Glen's *'jobs" were limited to Piney 
Eidge, and so they remained, helping Mr. Elston 
properly stack his straw and make a general 
clean-up ai*ound the yard. It was all a very 
interesting experience to Chester, and he said as 
much to Mr. Elston. 

The sun had gone down before the chores were 
all finished, and the men went back to the house. 
Julia was still busy with dishes. Without asking 
leave the two young men gave a helping hand. 
The lamp was lighted, and at last they all sat 
down to rest. 

*'Will you have the newspaper, father? *' asked 
Julia. "It came today.*' 

*'No, I'm too tired to read tonight." 

*'0h, I forgot—a letter came, too.'' 

She handed it to him. He looked at it, then 
opened it. The other three were busy talking, 
and they did not see the tremor in his hand or 
the changed expression in his face. Then he 
arose, went to his desk in the comer and placed 
the letter in a drawer. For a few moments he 
stood with face away from the others before he 
returned. 

"Julia," he said, "you have had a long, hard 
day. You had better go to bed now.*' 

"All right. I am tired." 

"And I must get back," said Glen. Julia went 
with him to the door, saying goodnight to him 
outside. In a few moments Chester also retired. 

9 



130 PINEY BIDQE COTTAGE 



**What was in the letter, father? May I know? 
It disturbed you/* 

The father looked at her a moment, then he 
went to the desk again and got the letter. 

*'Yes, you may know,'* he said. 

'*Look, do you see that printing in the 
corner? *' 

**Yes; *If not delivered in 5 days return to 
Box B, Salt Lake City, Utah,' " she read. 

'*You have heard of *Box B' letters?" 

*'Yes; when missionaries are called, they say 
the letters they get are from *Box B.' " 

''That's right, Julia— and this is one." 

"Calling you on a missiont^^ 

"Yes; this is a letter calling me to Great Brit- 
ain to preach the gospel. ^^ 

She looked closely at the letter, then without 
reading it she clung to her father. She was 
trembling. ♦ ♦ * Oh, but she was tired ! 

"When— when are you going?^' 

"It doesn't say. They want to know when I 
can get ready; but we^U not worry about that 
tonight, my girl. Go to bed and get a good 
night's rest and then we^U talk further about it." 

"But you are going?" 

"What do you sayf Shall I go? ' 

"Why, yes, of course — but — " 

"All right. Now goodnight." He kissed her 
softly, and she moved as if in a dream up the 
stairs and into her room. 



CHAPTER XII. 

On a Friday evening late in September, a fare- 
well party was given Hugh Elston in the Piney 
Ridge schoolhouse. Neighbors for ten miles 
around were present, for Hugh Elston was well 
known and well liked by * 'Mormon, Jew and 
Qentile." 

The people began to gather late in the after- 
noon, because the program was to begin at "early 
candlelight/' The thoughtful farmer came in 
his farm wagon, in which he could bring hay for 
his horses, and if the night proved very cold, he 
blanketed them. A few would-be cowboys rode 
in big saddles and many trappings, tied their 
horses to a post where they stood uncared for 
half the night. By dusk the camp yard around 
the schoolhouse was filled with horses and vehi- 
cles. The lamps were lighted within, and the 
crowd flocked into the house. It had been three 
years since a missionary had been given a fare- 
well from that part. None missed such gather- 
ings. Many friendly **outsiders" came, while 
some Church members who couldn't quite see the 
advisability of attending the usual church ser- 
vices, thought it their *'bounden duty'^ to be 
present at all gatherings of a social character. A 
brother sat near the door by a table. In his 
keeping was a box with a slit in the lid, into 



132 PINEY BIDGE COTTAGE 

which those who entered could drop their contri- 
butions. These ranged from the little girl's 
nickel to the big dollar which made a rattle in 
the fast-growing coin pile. About every third 
man, woman and child who entered, carried a 
basket, a small box or a bundle. These were 
deposited in any handy and safe place — ^in the 
comers, in the windows, or on the school desks. 
This was the picnic. 

The guest of honor arrived just before the pro- 
gram was to begin. With him was Julia, arrayed 
in her best and looking her best, too. To the 
astonishment of some, to the wonder of others, 
and to the painful humiliation of one, Ches- 
ter Lawrence followed closely with the bas- 
ket, as if he were one of the Elston family. At 
the door he gave the basket to Julia, who went 
up in front with her father, he finding a seat near 
the door. There were much whispering and 
craning of necks to catch sight of Julia in her 
new dress and hat, and that "tony feller from 
the East." 

At this time in the history of Piney Eidge 
there was no ward organization. Brother Peter- 
son was the presiding elder, and it was he who 
mounted the platform, called the meeting to 
order, and announced the numbers on the pro- 
gram. First there was congregational singing, 
then prayer, following which came duets, solos, 
recitations, instrumental music and short speeches 
by prominent members of the community. These 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 133 

spoke of the good neighbor and upright man, 
Brother Hugh Elston, and how they would miss 
him. * 'Brother Elston is present, and I want him 
to hear my opinion of him," said one brother. "I 
don't believe in waiting until one is dead to speak 
of his good qualities. I may not care what you 
say over my dead body — I may not be there to 
hear— but if you have any good thing to say of 
me, tell it to me now. That's what I believe in, 
Brother Elston.'^ 

The songs were good and bad. Some excellent 
voices there were, needing only training. One 
girPs song was simply a nerve-racking nasal 
screech— but there were no severe critics present, 
and all the program was enjoyed, even to the 
long-drawn-out recitation repeated in a sing- 
song manner. 

Brother Binks had his turn between two of the 
song numbers. Brother Binks always spoke at 
all social gatherings. It would be hard to imag- 
ine what would happen— to Brother Binks— if he 
were slighted. This brother was held in great 
honor — and rightly so — because he had crossed 
the plains in early days with one of the hand- 
cart companies, and he always took great delight 
in telling how he had pulled his hand-cart from 
the Missouri river to the valley. Yes, he had 
done this valiant deed—and then (this, of course, 
he never mentioned, but It is the truth, neverthe- 
less) he had done nothing ever since. The 
brother by the contribution box at the door had 



134 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

tried to guess by the noise it made, whether the 
coin Brother Binks had dropped in was a quarter 
or a dime. He inclined to think it was the latter. 

Then the departing missionary had to speak. 
He expressed his pleasure and appreciation of 
his friends' presence, and hoped to met them all 
again on his return. 

After the program the desks were moved about, 
boards were placed on them to form tables, on 
which were spread table-cloths. The picnic was 
then opened and placed thereon. Seats were 
drawn up to the long table, and everybody found 
places. Brother Elston sat at the head with Julia 
near him. A blessing was asked, and then the 
rattle and chatter of a busy crowd mingled with 
the eating. 

*' Sister Jensen," asked Hugh Elston, "did you 
bring some apple-cakef " 

"Yes; it's here," replied the Danish sister 
whose cooking of dainties was a feature of all 
such gatherings. "Do you want some nowf" 

"Not until after I have finished my chicken, 
but I thought I'd make my chance sure. You 
know I'll not get any such apple cake as you 
make out in the mission field." 

"No; they live on weak tea and thin slices of 
bread and butter," remarked one who had been 
on a missson to England, but couldn't stand the 
English climate. 

"That's habout has good as your yella, hot. 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 135 

soda biscuits an' fried bacon has you Yankees 
heats/' replied a Britisher loyally. 

**Ear, earl" shouted another from the end of 
the table. 

"Please pass the pickles." 

Thus the fun ran up and down, over and 
across ; for in that company were Yankees from 
New England, Southerners from Florida, and 
those who had lived all their lives in "the wild 
and woolly West." There were Danes, Swedes, 
Germans, Irish, two from Australia, and one 
from far-oflE Iceland. Thus this mixture of races, 
strong and simple-lived men and women, were 
subduing the desert and being knit together into 
one great body by the opportunities of this land 
of liberty and the operations of the Spirit of God 
found in the Church to which they belonged. 
These and their children were becoming one 
nation on the mountains of Israel, faithful to 
the truth, strong in the defense of the right. 

After the eating, the tables were cleared away 
and most of the desks were carried outside. The 
long benches were placed along the walls, the 
floor was swept, and while the fiddlers were tun- 
ing up, two young men scattered the fine cut- 
tings from wax candles over the floor. Two vio- 
lins and the organ composed the orchestra. 

"Choose your partners for a plain quadrille," 
shouted the floor manager. 

It was in order for Brother Elston to lead out, 
so with Julia on his arm he stepped in front of 



136 PINEY RIDaE COTTAGE 



the platform to begin the first set, which was soon 
filled. 

*'Two more couples wanted this way. One 
more couple wanted. AH set.'^ 

Hugh Elston could manage in some way the 
plain quadrille ; but he was no dancer,so he handed 
Julia over to the host of would-be partners. It was 
first come, first served, and there was sometimes 
quite a scramble. Chester was keenly interested 
in it all, but he did not ask Julia for a dance. He 
would greatly have enjoyed it, but he thought it 
wiser not to do so. Glen, too, hung back. He 
did not feel like joining in the rush with the other 
boys. He danced once, then he, too, looked on. 
Julia was having a jolly time to all appearances. 
Why should he ''butt in." 

A few of the older people now went home, but 
most of the company remained to look on, even 
if they did not dance. These sat in the comer 
out of the way of the swinging young people, and 
talked— yes, and gossiped a little. 

''Why didn't Julia's feller dance? Perhaps 
he's a Methodist or some such sect that thinks it 
a sin to dance. Perhaps — but then we mustn^t 
judge. He looks a decent sort of chap. * * Yes, 
he's a wise one; getting on the best side of the 
old man ♦ * * What's the matter with Glen 
Curtis tonight? Cut out! Pshaw, that dude cut 
him out! Julians too sensible; besides he's an 
outsider. She would'nt think o' such a thing. 
* * Don't be too sure. Sometimes the best girls 



PINEY BIDQE COTTAGE 137 

will do the worst things. You never can tell. 

* * * What's Julia going to do while her fath- 
er's awayf She's going to live in Salt Lake with 
an Aunt Jane, and go to school— learn to be a 
teacher. The superintendent says she is a natural 
teacher, and he wants her to study some along 
that line, so she can take the examination. * * 
Well, I'll declare, look at Jim Bates. Quite 
sporty, ain't hef He's smiling sweet on Julia; 
but it's no use, Jim. * * * Brother Elston's 
a little old to go on a mission, but he's well and 
strong, and he says he's been waiting for this all 
his life. I do hope Julia will get along. I don't 
see how she can stand to leave that lovely home 
of her's-she won't find any such a place in the 
city. * * Too much noise and racket down 
there for me. Why las' time I was to conference 
I was nearly run over by one of them nasty 
smellin' automobiles. / just think it's awful. 

* * See how Susie's dress hangs. She'd much 
better had made it herself than have let that 
dressmaker at Croft do it. I don't care for this 
new fangled style anyway. * * Did you get 
some of mypief You didn't! Well, that's too 
bad. I wanted you to taste it. But my pies al- 
ways are gobbled up as quick as wink. I never get 
a piece myself. Yes, your cake was just dandy. 
I made a failure with mine. I opened the oven 
door just at the wrong time, an' it fell as flat as a 
pancake." 

The first violinist worked hand and foot dili- 



138 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



gently, the second scraped faithfully his bow 
over the responsive strings, the organ bellowed 
forth in chords more or less tuneful. The young 
dancers warmed up to their work, while fathers 
and mothers looked on amid their gossip. The 
smaller children becoming tired and sleepy, 
struggled to keep awake, but at last had to give 
up and sprawled on the seats. The babies were 
tucked in a bed of blankets in the comers away 
from draughts, where they slept peacefully amid 
the noise. 

Towards eleven o'clock there came a pause in 
the dancing to give the musicians a rest, and per- 
mit the floor to be swept and given another 
sprinkling of candle. The intermission was filled 
in by a song by one of the girls, who had been 
on the program but had come in too late for her 
number. The dancers fanned themselves vigor- 
ously, and some of the unthoughtful ones went out 
into the night air to cool oflE. Then the music 
started again and the dance continued. 

Glen Curtis had given away more and more to 
the spirit of despondency which was upon him, 
until he now sat a morose and silent looker-on. 
He had not asked Julia for a dance, nor would 
he now— not he I The wail of the fiddles sounded 
deep in his heart and found an echo there. 
Music to the glad, makes a gladder heart; to the 
sad gives depths to the sadness. Music accent- 
uates the state of mind, whether that be 
evil or whether it be good. Music, like knowl- 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 139 

edge, is a power for good or evil. Saints 
sing and play to praise and give glory to 
God; the tempter entices the feet of the un- 
wary, leading them down to hell by the capti- 
vating spell of her music. Glen had traveled a 
long way to be at this farewell party. He had 
pictured a good time with Julia and he had even 
wondered whether or not he could resist telling 
her he loved her ; but from the first he had been 
disappointed. Her entrance with Chester had 
cast a gloom over his sensitive spirit, and he had 
not been able to throw it oflE. 

At the close of the dance, Julia flushed and 
warm, came up to Glen and seated herself by 
him. **I simply can't dance the next time," she 
pouted. **I'm tired out; but if I stay in the room 
someone will ask me. I*d like to go out a 
minute.*^ 

Shall I go with youf" asked Glen. 
'Yes, please." 

You must have a wrap; it^s cold outside." 
He fetched a shawl, which she threw over her 
shoulders. Then they slipped out by the back 
door. 

The night was clear and cold. The stars shone 
from a perfect sky. There was no moon, so all 
the light was starlight. 

*'What a beautiful night!" exclaimed Julia 
looking up to the stars. 

**Yes; it is." They walked out from among 
the wagons down the road. 



((I 



140 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



(i- 
((- 

((I 



^What is the matter with you tonight, Glenl" 
^Nothing the matter with me." 
Then why haven't you asked me to dance 
with you?" 

**You have been having a good time with 
your partner, haven't youf '' 

"My partner! I came with father, and he has 
danced with me once." 

"1 thought Chester Lawrence was your partner. 
You came with him." 

'*He came with us from home. That's why we 
came together. He hasn't danced with me once, 
either." 

They stood now by the fence, Julia leaning her 
arm on the top pole. Glen came near. ** Julia, 
who is this man, Chester Lawrence, and what is 
he to youf" 

The girl looked at him, a little annoyed at his 
manner. She drew her shawl close around her 
shoulders but did not answer. 

''Who is he, Julial" 

**He is a friend of father's." 

"And of yours?" 

"Of course. Father's friends are mine." 

"He is an outsider, a stranger, and — ." He 
was about to accuse her of thinking more of 
him than of her life-long friend, but he checked 
himself. "I think you ought to be careful." 

"He is simply a friend, and that is how I treat 
him." 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 141 

''First he was interested in land, then he was a 
miner; but I think his chief concern is you '* 

*'Glen, how you talk! He has been a perfect 
gentleman to me." 

''Certainly; that's the way they do it. We clod- 
hopping country boys aren't in it when an East- 
ern dude comes along." 

"Glen, I want to go back. Let's go. It's cold 
out here." 

"All right." He pulled her wrap close about 
her, with a tender touch. Was this the end 
then— the end of all his dreams? He wanted to 
say so much to her, but his heart seemed to 
choke him, so he could not speak. Poor, sen- 
sitive boy, he was just entering life, but he did 
not know it ; he thought he had come to the end 
of everything worth while. 

"There; are you cold?" he asked. "I'll go to 
the door, but I'll not go in. I'm going home." 

"Nonsense, Glen; you're going in and dance 
with me. It isn't fair." 

"No; not now, I can't— I— I— well, I've felt so 
bad all evening. I'm silly, I guess, but I can't 
help it." 

I don't understand you. Glen. You haven't 
acted like this before." 

"No; but it isn't that! haven't felt like it. ♦ ♦ 
Julia—" but the throbbing heart was in the way. 

They walked back silently. The lights gleamed 
from the windows. The sound of music and 
dancing rose and fell as doors were opened and 



142 PINEY BIDaE COTTAGE 

closed. Some were hitching their horses to the 
wagons, preparatory to bundling in the family for 
home. 

*'When are you going to Salt Lake?" asked he. 

* 'Father goes next week, and I'm going with 
him. * * CanH you stay over Sunday? Come 
and see us then." 

*'Not very well. You see, I got oflE all day to- 
day to come up here, and I'll have to be back to 
school Monday morning. I^d like to visit with 
you Sunday. Perhaps—'* 

"Do, Glen. Won't you come in nowf " 

*'Just a minute. Will Mr. Lavrrence be at 
Piney Ridge Cottage Sunday I" 

'*Yes; I heard father ask him. He is just 
going East again,and this is to be a sort of good- 
by visit, I understand." 

''Then I'll be in the way. I'll not come. I'll 
say my goodby now." 

They paused by the door of the schoolhouse, 
then stepped to one side out of the way of the 
light. The young man with a desperate eflEort got 
rid of the choking lump in his throat long enough 
to say: 

"Julia, I thought I would have a good chance 
to tell you how dear you are to me— how much I 
love you— but"— . He took her hands — both of 
them, and felt her shiver. "You are cold. You 
must go in." . He led her to the door, opened it 
and pushed her gently in. Then he turned, hur- 
ried out to his horse, and was soon galloping 
down the dark road under the gleaming stars. 



CHAPTER XUI. 

Hugh Elston let Piney Ridge to a newly mar- 
ried couple, Mr. and Mrs. Ross— on condition 
that they would take good care of the house, and 
not permit the shrubbery and the grass to die 
out in the garden. They were also to keep alive 
and growing the trees in the little graveyard. 
The fields and orchard, the young farmer could 
be trusted to take care of, for in them lay his own 
living and the means whereby to pay his rent ; 
but special provisions, Mr. Elston knew, would 
have to be made for the bits of ornamentation 
and sentimental luxury which were dear to the 
owners, or they would surely be neglected. 

Julia contemplated her home-leaving with var- 
ied emotions. Piney Ridge had always been home 
to her. Here she had been bom, here she had 
lived with nature in its beauty and wildness, here 
her world had centered. Her room overlooking 
the garden, the big broad valley, and then the 
evening sun, was the cosy nest of that home ; and 
a little pain troubled her heart when she thought 
of leaving it. But then, she would now see a 
little of the world ; she would get out among peo- 
ple and have a change from the monotonous same- 
ness of her country life. So there was an eager 
expectancy mingled with the regret of leaving. 

A neighbor with his farm wagon took Julia and 



144 PINEY RIDGE COTTAQE 

her father with their baggage to the station at 
Croft, where they boarded the train early one 
morning. They arrived in Salt Lake City the 
same afternoon. The view from the car window 
interested Julia as they sped past great stretches 
of green fields, towns and villages. She was 
glad that she was not alone in the noisy station at 
Salt Lake. The crowds of hurrying people, the 
moving trains and trucks, and especially the mad 
shouting of bus and carriage drivers would have 
bewildered the girl. It was conference time and 
the crowds had already begun to come. Her 
father arranged for the care of the baggage, and 
then they boarded a street car up into the city, 
thence to Aunt Jane's. 

Aunt Jane Borden had been a widow for ten 
years. She had two daughters. Rose, nineteen, 
and Marcia, twenty-two. These worked in a 
down-town store, one as a clerk, the other as a 
stenographer. Aunt Jane received her guests 
warmly, took Julia's hat and wraps, and directed 
her father to hang his hat and coat in the hall. 
Aunt Jane was a marvel at talking. Words, 
words, words came from her lips as continuously 
and as easily as a stream gliding endlessly by. 
She greeted you at the gate, and from that 
moment there was a continuous stream of talk 
until you closed the gate for departure. Then she 
followed you on to the sidewalk, and sometimes 
you could hear her until you turned the comer. 

This good woman seemed a strange person to 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 145 

the quiet, reticent, and somewhat backward 
Julia. The girl sat and listened in wrapt amaze- 
ment, wondering when the talker would get to the 
end of her subject, and what she would say 
afterwards ; but there was never any lack of words, 
and she switched so easily from one subject to 
another that the break was not noticeable. Aunt 
Jane, however, was hardly ever stilly for she had 
many household duties to do. Words were not 
her only stock in trade, by any means. 

''Well, well," she said, **and so, Hugh, you are 
going on that long expected mission at last. I 
knew it was coming. I knew you would never 
escape. My husband filled his mission when he 
was much younger than you, but you^re not very 
old yet— not too old, anyway." She was setting 
the table, so she journeyed back and forth be- 
tween the dining room and the kitchen, but the 
talk kept right on. She simply raised her voice 
when she was in the kitchen, and raised it a bit 
louder when she disappeared in the pantry. 
*'Well, I'm glad to see you looking so well. And 
Julia— she's quite a woman. My, how children 
grow ! My daughter Eose is nineteen— how old 
are you now? Going on twenty— well you're a 
bit older than Eose, as I might have remembered ; 
but as I was saying, Eose is a big girl, bigger 
than her sister Marcia. But then Marcia hasn't 
been well. She's always been a sickly girl, and I 
don't know how much longer she can stand it at 
the office. It's hard on the girl to sit all day in 

10 



146 PINEY KIDQE COTTAaB 

an office pounding on a typwriter. Julia here, 
is just about the size of Marcie, but my, the differ- 
ence in color I You are as brown as a nut, but 
you'll see yourself how pale Marcia is. I'll bet 
you can ride horses, milk cows and do all sorts of 
hard work. Why, my girls can't do anything 
but ride back and forth on the street car, Marcia 
to her typewriter and Rose to her ribbon coun- 
ter. I told them the other day they ought to 
have taken your invitation to visit each summer 
at Piney Ridge, but they've always said they 
could't afford a vacation — you don't drink tea, I 
suppose. I have it in the house, because some- 
times we have visitors who use it. And then 
the girls have the headache so often, which they 
declare can only be helped by a cup of tea. I 
think we ought to be careful not to have such 
things became habitual with us, for there is Mary 
Jenkins— you remember her— she was the girl 
that married Tom Schoolman, a cousin of my 
father's first wife — she went out to Idaho years 
ago, and I haven't heard of her for a long time. 
We were kind o' chummy when we were girls 
down at Altone." Aunt Jane went into the base- 
ment for a jar of fruit, but as she left the door 
open she could be heard quite distinctly. She 
took the fruit into the kitchen, and then there 
was a pause. 

'*Hugh, you'll have to help me with this lid. I 
can't get it off." 

Mr. Elston went to her assistance. The thread 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 147 

of her discourse was broken because just then 
the two gu"ls came in and were introduced to 
Julia and her father. 

That same evening there was to be a big con- 
cert in the Tabernacle. The three girls and Mr. 
Elston went. What a rattle of street cars and 
glare of electric lights! And what crowds of 
people surging through the big gates and into the 
Tabernacle! It was all new and strange and 
interesting to Julia. The two girls chatted 
pleasantly to her, but she was so absorbed by the 
sights that she did not carry on her part of the 
conversation very successfully, Inside the Tab- 
ernacle she looked around in silent amazement 
at the immense curved ceiling, the mass of peo- 
ple, the great organ and the choir sitting around 
it. '*My," she at last said, ''what a lot of people, 
and how big everything is ! " 

Then the noise made by five thousand talking 
people subsided,changed to a subdued hum as an 
ocean of voices, and then all but ceased as the 
conductor took his position and raised his hands. 
Then the organ thundered out as the five hun- 
dred singers arose and burst into song. Julia sat 
spellbound until the number was over, then she 
sank back into her seat with a sigh as if she had 
been holding her breath. 

Listen! The sea of faces vanish. Everything 
is still. The soft murmur may be only the breeze 
playing with the topmost branches of the pines. 
Away oflE from a distance comes the clear call 



148 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

as of a bird. Then again the sky is blue above 
and all around Old Thunder. The call comes 
from away out in space beyond the mountains. 
Another bird is added and then another until 
there are a thousand all sing^^ng in chorus. Then 
the whistle of a flute joins the birds, and they 
come on nearer and nearer, piping together. More 
fluters are heard stepping in time and growing in 
volume, until the air is full of sweet, stirring 
melody. Then from some unseen, unknown 
region a chorus of angelic voices joins, and a 
song of praise swells out into all the world. 
Louder and louder grows the music— then it 
changes. The sweet-voiced songsters cease, the 
flutes are silent. A deeper tone swells up, gath- 
ering speed and volume. Faint echoes of thun- 
der race in from the distance. Nearer they come 
and more frequent. Crash ! Or is it the rhyth- 
mical tread of ten thousand men? How the 
great organ bellows forth ! The building trem- 
bles as peal after peal of thunderous music rolls 
along. Then at the great climax when it seems 
as if the whole world is one volume of sound, it 
suddenly ceases, its echoes for a moment rever- 
berating away into the distance. There is silence 
for a few moments, but Julia is still enveloped in 
the music. Once again the organ plays. It is 
as if the great golden gates of heaven were open 
and soft, soul-filling music of the celestial king- 
dom comes streaming out to earth. Julia is car- 
ried away into another world of thought and 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 149 

feeling. What is this? Her heart bums within 
her, yet not of pain, but of an exquisite sweet- 
ness akin to sadness. The organ ceases, and 
Julia comes to earth again by hearing Rose say, 
*'That was Lemar's Andantino.^^ 

There were more choruses by the big choir, 
and soloists whose single voices filled the vast 
space under the roof. It was all wonderfully 
strange and beautiful to the girl who had never 
heard such things before, but who could some- 
what enter into and understand the music by 
an intuition kept nicely sensitive by her studious 
life amid her native mountains. 

It was hard for Julia to sleep that night. She 
was given a small upstairs bedroom next the 
girls', so she was not lonely even though she 
felt strange. It was late before she got into bed, 
so she closed her eyes and tried to go to sleep ; 
but, as everyone knows, to try to sleep is the 
surest way to keep awake. The street cars made 
a terrible noise. As she lay there listening, she 
could hear them rumbling in the distance, then 
coming nearer, until it seemed that some tre- 
mendous onrushing demon would demolish the 
house. The house trembled as the cars went by, 
and then she was reminded of the great organ, 
the choir and the wonderful singers. 

Well, here she was at last in the city. How 
would she like it? If her father could only 
remain! But he' was to leave in a few days; and 
then she would be alone. She felt lonely 



150 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

already thinking of it. What were they doing 
back at Piney Eidge? She hoped its new 
occupants would not disturb her things that she 
had carefully packed away in the upstairs closet. 
Then there was the garden and the flowers— yes, 
and the graves— the tears flowed softly on the 
pillow. Even old Bossy, the cow, came to the 
girl who was far away from the green spot in 
the desert of sagebrush. That desert had not 
called vigorously yet, but it was beckoning even 
now. Gracious! that car sounded like a close 
peal of thunder. Where was Glen? She was 
going to get his address and write to him. His 
words uttered by the schoolhouse door in all 
earnestness came to her again. He loved her^ 
he had said so, and then had gone his way. 
What would she have said had he remained and 
forced her to speak? But Glen was not that kind 
of boy. He would not knowingly intrude. He 
would keep away if he had the least idea he was 
not welcome. But had she given him any cause 
to think his company was not wanted? Not that 
she knew. Perhaps he was jealous of Chester; 
but then Chester was so different. They had 
had long talks and they had freely discussed 
many subjects, even bordering on the very deli- 
cate one of love and marriage. Chester was 
wise on these things, she could tell. * * Was 
that another car, or was it the organ? Oh, she 
was tired! 



CHAPTEE XIV. 

Julia was awakened next morning by Aunt 
Jane's calling upstairs to the girls : ' 'Marcie, Eosie, 
come, get up. It's time to get up." 

From the girls' room there came some protest- 
ing sounds— there was a creaking of bed springs, 
then silence. 

Presently, the mother came again to the foot 
of the stairs. 

* 'Eosie," she shouted, "Marcie, you've just fif- 
teen minutes, and not a minute longer. Come, 
get up. Your breakfast is ready." The voice 
disappeared into the kitchen and mingled with 
the rattle of dishes. The girls moved again as 
if getting out of bed with yawning reluctancy. 
**Areyou up, girls?" came from below. **0h, 
y— e— s," was the response. *'Well, hurry. The 
pancakes are getting cold." 

The bustling grew louder as the girls jumped 
about as if just realizing they were late. Julia 
also got up. She thought it the safer plan, 
though she hardly knew what was expected of 
her. The door to the girls' room opened and 
Eose, half -dressed, bawled down to her mother: 

"Ma, oh ma— are my shoes down there? I must 
have left them in the kitchen last night— and ma, 
bring up my side-combs, will you? I believe 
they're in the window in the dining room." 

"Presently Aunt Jane came l^boriouslv up the 



152 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

stairs, talking to, or rather about those careless 
girls who would never learn. She looked in at 
Julia who was nearly dressed. "And are you up, 
too? There was no hurry for you; but these girls 
must get to work, and what a time I have with 
them. Did you sleep well, dear?" 

'*I must have slept fast when I got started," 
replied Julia, for the first thing I knew it was 
morning. The cars bothered me a little. 

*'Yes; they're just awful noisy; but we^re used 
to them. Girl's, are you coming?" 

**In a minute. Ma." 

Julia went down with Aunt Jane, listening in a 
sort of fascinated silence to the easy-moving 
tongue. She found her father sitting on the 
front porch reading the morning paper. Then in 
a few moments there was a rushing of feet down 
the stairs. ''Breakfast's ready," announced Aunt 
Jane. The two went in. "We'll not have time 
for prayers this morning," said the mother. The 
girls are late — as usual. Sit down everybody— 
Hugh, will you please ask the blessing?" 

Eose and Marcie hurriedly swallowed a platter 
of mush, talking between spoonfuls to Julia 
about the program for the day. Tomorrow being 
Sunday, they would not have to run away from 
her like this. The last bit of mush was gulped, 
and with a slice of bread and butter half eaten 
they jumped from the table, pinned on their 
hats and sped out into the street where the car 
was just stopping on the comer. Julia watched 



PINET RIDGE COTTAGE 153 

them through the window until they were safely 
on and away. 

"You're not used to such rush out on the farm 
are you?" said Aunt Jane; "but here it's just one 
continual whirlwind all the time. I'm nearly 
worn out by it, and I tell you I long for the quiet 
of my old home down in Altone. City life has its 
advantages, but— have some more toast. You 
mustn't lose that good country appetite. Those 
girls of mine just pick and nibble. I don't see 
what they live on. It's telling on Marcie. I 
don't befieve she gets enough to eat nor enough 
rest. That's why I let them sleep as long as 
possible in the morning— though it is a job to 
get them up." 

"They ought to go to bed earlier," remarked 
Mr. Elston. 

"That's true enough, but how are they to do 
it? They're out every night in the week. What 
with meetings and clubs and socials and picnics 
and outings to mountains and lake, they never 
get in till ten or twelve o'clock. You saw how it 
was last night and this morning — it's 
that." 

"Gracious!" exclaimed Julia unthin 

"Yes; you might well be astonish^ 
pose it looks funny to you." 

"I see," remarked Mr. Elston, tal 
4age of an opening Aunt Jane had g 
you are not as young as you used to b 
working too hard.'' 



ti' 



154 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



"But we must live. There's cleaning and 
cooking and baking and sewing — and lots of 
other things that I must do," 

'Don^t they help you?" asked Julia. 
'Help? They couldn't; they haven't the time; 
besides typewriting and measuring ribbons are 
all they know how to do." 

**Gracious!" exclaimed Julia again, at which 
the two others laughed. 

* 'Don't they have lessons to get— in Mutual 
and Sunday School?' ' continued the girl. 

*'Yes; they manage somehow to skim over 
them on Sunday afternoons." 

*'And when do they read?" 

**Read! Oh, yes, they do read. See that 
stack of books? Well, that's the *best six sell- 
ers.' They read them on the cars going and 
coming from work, and dmdng their dinner hour. 
They get through a good many of them, but I 
don't think it does them much good. * * You'll 
have to go early to the Tabernacle to get a seat, 
but you have plenty of time yet." They arose, 
and Aunt Jane began to clear the table. 

*'Aunt Jane," said Julia. 

''Yes." 

**Do me a favor." 

"Certainly. What is it?" 

**You go out on the porch and talk to father 
while I wash the dishes." 

The woman looked curiously at Julia. **Why, 
of course not. The idea ! ' ' 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 155 

**I think the idea's a splendid one," said her 
father. ^^ Julia isn't used to sitting around and 
looking on while someone else works, and she 
would be miserable doing such a thin£:." 

* 'Neither am I used to it, I can tell you,'' re- 
sponded Aunt Jane with vim. 

**But it wouldn't hurt you to do it once in a 
while. The sensation might be a new one to 
you, but I believe you would enjoy it. Come on." 

**Not much. You finish the paper, and Julia 
and I will wash the dishes." 

So Julia could give her help only, though had 
the older woman known it, it would have given 
the girl much more pleasure to have seen Aunt 
Jane resting while Julia did her work. But this 
good woman had made the mistake, as many 
other good men and women have, of thinking 
she was doing her duty by waiting on her chil- 
dren. For years she had done everything for her 
daughters, until now they had come to look upon 
what their mother was doing for them as some- 
thing justly due. Mothers like to serve their chil- 
dren, forgetting often that the children would be 
just as much pleased to serve the mother. Moth- 
ers rob their children of the sweet satisfaction of 
service by not training them to it from the begin- 
ning. **It's better to give than to receive," says 
the parent. If this is true of the parent why is 
it not true of the children? 

Julia and her father attended the meetings of 
the conference all that dav. She enioved the 



156 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

music and the preaching of leading authorities. 
The big crowds of people were a never-ending 
source of interest. The afternoon meeting was 
a big one, many people not being able to get a 
seat. The grounds overflowed with conference 
visitors. Friends were meeting friends and there 
was a general reunion of old acquaintances. 

Sunday morning the girls managed to get 
ready in time for the first meeting. Aunt Jane 
said she had to stay home to get dinner, and no 
amount of coaxing could change her purpose. 
None of them would come home, they said, but 
she answered that conference visitors might 
drop m any time, and she wanted to De ready. 
The Sunday meetings were too crowded anyway. 

Rose and Marcie took Julia in hand that day 
and introduced her to many of their friends. 
Julia did well. She realized she was not trained 
in many of the nice distinctions of social customs, 
therefore she decided to act just as natural as she 
could, and not to show her timidity; so she got 
alons: veiy well, and found that she could suc- 
cessfully carry on her part of the conversation. 
The girls were somewhat surprised to see that 
Julia was so well posted on general information, 
and at one time she came to their rescue by 
naming to them the author of a certain book 
under discussion. 

Sunday evening the * 'conference storm" came, 
so they all decided to stay home, for which Julia 
was thankful. A number of young people called 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 157 

after supper and there was singing and playing. 
Rose had a very good voice, ** which Brother 
Stephens doesn't know of," said Marcie, * 'seeing 
she hasn't been invited to join the Tabernacle 
choir." 

*'He can't be expected to know all the good 
voices/^ remarked one of the boys — **hem!" 

*'Zowr5, for instance," said another. 

**Well, modesty forbade me to say as much." 

Monday there were more meetings, and Aunt 
Jane actually permitted Julia to remain at home 
while she went to meeting with Mr. Elston. 

Don't cook anything for dinner," she admon- 
ished. The girls won't.be home and there's plenty 
left over from yesterday. Have a good rest and 
imagine you^re out at Piney Bidge Cottage." 

Julia, left to herself, did as Aunt Jane had sug- 
gested. Meanwhile, she looked at the books, 
thrummed a little on the piano, and even took 
pleasure in examining more closely the rooms of 
the house with the pictures on the walls and the 
bric-a-brac in the corners. Then she tried to 
read, but the story would skip to Piney Ridge 
and the people associated with it. From the 
window of the small upstairs room she looked 
out into the street, to the row of houses oppo- 
site. How close they were! Hardly room for a 
wagon to pass between them. She saw the 
houses crowded together, and then she thought 
of her own view from her own window, away 
out on the sage-brush. But she would have to 



158 PINEIY RIDGE COTTAGE 

forget home for a time. She would feel all 
right when she got started to school and got 
deep into her lessons. Then she tried to read 
again, and this time succeeded fairiy well. 

The conference days passed, and the time came 
for Mr. Elston to depart for his mission. The 
Wednesday following he was set apari; and then 
he was ready. He and Julia had been together 
alone for several hours the evening before when 
he had talked to her, giving her such instructions 
as he thought she needed in her new home. 
Above all, she was to be careful about the com- 
pany she kept, *'Stay close to Aunt Jane,'' he 
had said. * 'Don't go out late nights unless you 
have the girls with you. * ♦ i shall have to 
trust to your good judgment and to the care of 
the Lord. He will protect you, if you will do 
your part. Get acquainted with the bishop of 
the ward. Attend Sunday school and the Mutual. 
Make acquaintances among those who do like- 
wise, for there is safety in that. Never forget 
your prayers. Remember you must do your part 
here or I cannot do my part in the mission. A 
mission always consists of two divisions : the one 
of actual preaching in the world; the other of 
the faith, prayers and support of those at home. 
Each is of equal importance.'' 

Then at the station came the parting. With 
streaming eyes Julia saw the train pull out and 
glide away from her down the track. He waved 
to them from the open window as long as he 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 159 

could see them. Then a curve took him out of 
sight, and Julia sobbed out her grief on Aunt 
Janets shoulder. She felt that now she was in 
reality alone in the world. 



CHAPTER XV. 

Salt Lake City, Utah. 
Bear Father: Nov. 12, 19— 

You have been gone over a month now and it 
seems a year. My, how lonesome I get, and 
how I lonfi: for yon and dear Piney Ridge Cottage ! 
When you have finished your mission we shall go 
back. home and never leave it, shan't we, father? 
I miss so much our quiet talks and our reading. 
They tell me here that they don't see how I stand 
the lonesomeness of Piney Ridge, but I tell them 
that I am more lonesome in a Main Street crowd 
than I am on the sides of Old Thunder— and its 
true, too. I had no idea that a person could get 
so lonesome in a crowd. 

And my. how I miss my milk and cream! 
When I told the girls here that I lived on bread 
and milk, they stared at me, then jokingly called 
me a calf. But I don't care. I haven't seen any 
real milk since I came. It doesn't taste like our 
milk — ^it doesn't even look like it; and cream! 
they don't know what cream is, here. And 
eggs! Well, I can't eat them any more, no thank 
you. But enough about eating. I get all I 
need, which isn't as much as if I were a farmer's 
daughter— and partner. 

Now I am going to talk about my neighbors, 
which, as you know, is forbidden at Piney Ridge 
Cottage; but as this isn't P. R. C, and you 
aren't here to correct me; and further, you ask 
me to be confidential and write you everything, 
here goes: Oui* next door neighbors are just 



^ 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 161 



three and a half feet away. I don't even know their 
names. Of course I might have learned hadi asked, 
because I suppose Aunt Jane knows — ^but I haven't 
heard their names yet. Our nearest neighbor at 
home is three and one half miles away, and yet 
you know how well we are acquainted and how 
sociable we are: how we sometimes **just run 
over'* — on horseback— to borrow a loaf of bread 
or a pound of butter. Such things aren't pos- 
sible here because the store is so handy. Our 
neighbors on the other side of our house are a 
little more sociable. They belong more to our 
**set." They have a nice little boy— about nine- 
teen—who talks to me over the fence. He is not 
a bit stuck up. He has a pony which he says he 
will let me ride. 

Well, I have joined both the Sunday school and 
the Mutual. I haven't been on the program yet 
for which I am thankful. But fatner, I have 
received a very, very sad disappointment. I had 
imagined that here in this big city the people would 
be so precise, so correct in everything that I was 
afraid I couldn't live up to their standard. I 
thought the young people here with all their 
advantages in the way of schools, churches, and 
social gatherings would be nearly perfect, at least 
in the way of deportment ; but alas— what shall I 
sayf I had better say nothing. 

Well, now about school. It was all so strange 
at first, and the having to go from one room to 
another at the change of classes was odd; but I 
like the system, as it is restful to change rooms 
and teachers. As I was late in beginning, the 
principal thought I had better take some prepara- 
tory studies, at least for half a year. Then I 
might join the regular first year's class. I fear my 
**credits" weren't of a very high order,or at least 
they thoufirht so. These must, as you know, be 
11 



162 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



obtained at some well-known school. "Piney 
Ridge College" wasn't in the accredited list. 
They don't know, do they, how we two out in the 
big open valley by the grove read the Idyls of 
the Kings, the Merchant of Venice, Paradise 
Lost, and a lot more not so classical. So I had 
to take a special, which is all right, I guess. 
There isn't much about teaching in it, but they 
say my studies will lead up to the teaching sub- 
jects. There must be a right foundation, you 
know. After awhile I am going to learn how to 
cook scientifically, so that maybe when you come 
home you'll have potatoes a la something and 
current pie made according to rule. 

But really the school is lovely. After the strange- 
ness wore off, I enjoyed the spirit of the 
school more. The teachers are Latter-day Saints, 
and they carry the spirit of the gospel into their 
classes. Every morning we have devotional 
exercises, where there is singing, prayer and a 
little preaching. Then we all go to the theology 
classes. I study the Book of Mormon, and it's 



just fine. The teacher brings out points that I 
had not thought of before. It's just like going 
to Sunday school every morning— and you know 
how I lUsie Sunday school. 

But I'll have to quit for today. I fear that you 
will think that Aunt Jane's talk is catching. 

Next day : This letter will have to have double 
postage anyway, so I am goins: to make it longer. 

Dear father, I am more thankful every day 
that I have been trained to help myself, and not 
be dependent on others. You know how Rose 
and Marcie are. I think it's awful. They are so 
thoughtless they don't see that their mother 
is getting old and weak. Yet they expect to be 
waited on as if they were children. 1 see to it that 
my coming hasn't increased her work. I hope it 



f 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 163 



has decreased it, as I intend it shall. Every 
Monday we wash— Aunt Jane and I. I get up 
early and could have half of it done before break- 
fast if she would let me ; but she will get up too 
and potter around. My, what a lot of white 
waists and other things the girls have to be 
washed and ironed — ^by their mother. I was 
afraid I couldn^t iron the finery, but I watched 
Aunt Jane and soon learned how. Rose and 
Marcie don't know yet that their waists are of my 
washing and ironing. I have learned that the 
excuse Aunt Jane gave for the girls is good 
only in part. I know their hours are long and 
tiresome, but they could cut out some of their 
gadding. They would find that helping their 
mother would be a rest— a change is as good as 
a rest, as I told them the other day. Oh, yes, 
I'm getting over my timidity, and I speak right 
out sometmaes. 

**Do you know,'^ I said to them, '*that your 
mother is getting oldf " 

'*Yes; I've noticed how gray her hair is,^' re- 
plied Marcie. 

"And she's getting: weak, too,'* said I, **not 
able to do as much work as she used to do. I 
think you girls ought to help her." 

*'My ! we haven't time for any housework. ^^ 

**Make time.^' 

They looked at me so funny, for I said it em- 
phatically. 

**No one," I went on, *'and especially a dear 
mother, should ever wear herself out waiting on 
me, if 1 were able to wait on myself." 

**0h, you don't understand, Julia," they said. 

'*No, nor you either. If you understood what 
you are doing, you would not do it. Perhaps 
you'll understand when your mother^s gone— 
worked herself to death — perhaps," I added. • 



164 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



Well, they think I am a * 'funny girl.'^ 
We are all well. Write me a long letter and 
give me a good scolding for what I have written, 
B yon like, but send also, as I send you, much 
love. Yours, 

Julia. 

The very day that Julia mailed her long letter 
to her father, she, as if in recompense, received 
one, not from her father, but from Chester Law- 
rence. It was dated at Chicago, and read as 
follows : 

My Dear Sister Julia: 

You said I might call you sister, and now I 
have a double right to do so : I was baptized two 
weeks ago today. I have restrained myself from 
writing to you until now. but I cannot longer 
resist. I hope you will be glad of the news, 
because I must tell you that you had much to do 
with the step I have taken. I never have been 
so happy in my life. 

As you know, I have lived all my life under a 
cloud. Something seems to have been pressing me 
under all the time, but now, thanks be to the Lord, 
and shall I say to you, I feel as light as a feather. 
The cloud has lifted, and I am beginning to see 
more clearly the beautiful blue of the sky of life. 

I have not taken this step rashly, and it hasn't 
been altogether easy. You perhaps know that 
my foster parents would not send me to my 
mother, for fear that I would grow up to be a 
"Mormon;*' and now to think that I have joined 
that Church anyway after all their pains to keep 
me from it— well, it has nearly broken their 
hearts. Mother, somehow, doesn't take it so 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 165 



badly as I had expected her to do. She doesn't 
say much now. She is getting a little old and 
feeble. I believe that deep down in her heart 
she knows "Mormonism" is true, though she 
never will say it in so many words. 

So you can see that I have had just a little 
trial, though I ought not to call it a trial, when 
I think of the blessings I have found. 

Let me tell you just what it was that decided 
me. Of course I read everything I could get — 
some things against also. Then I hunted up the 
elders wherever I went, as well as here in Chica- 
go, and invariably I found them to be possessed 
of the same kindly yet enthusiastic spirit. This 
was noticeable, for this uniformity does not exist 
among the preachers of the other churches. I 
read in the scriptures that the Spirit of Christ is 
one: this, then, was a testimony. Again, I found 
the elders to be clean men. None of them 
smoked, drank or ever told bad stories. They 
might be rough and uncouth in their ways, but 
they were clean morally, and that appealed to me 
strongly. These boys, thinks I, are fair samples 
of the great majority of the "Mormons.'^ I nad 
been led to believe that the "Mormons" were a 
bad people — this had been bred into me, and it 
was not easy to change. Yet here was the unde- 
niable truth. There is something strange, I 
thought, in a condition wherein a people are uni- 
versally and persistently called bad, when in 
truth they are not bad. I found my answer to 
that also in the scriptures. So I went on step by 
step in my investigation, and each time *'Mor- 
monism'^ won out. 

Now to the point of decision. A tree must be 
judged by its fruits. You, Julia, are a product 
of Mormonism.'^ A system that produces girls 
like Julia Elston must be superlatively good. 



166 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



You grew up apart from the world, apart from 
its active influences. *'Mormonism'^ was bom 
and bred in you, and it has nourished you until 
now. I know, in a small degree what you are. I 
have caught a glimpse of your heart and seen part 
way into the depth of your soul. Up there on the 
sides of Old Thunder, next to heaven, that was — 
and at other times. Then I said. If '*Mormon- 
ism" has made this girl, it must begin its mould- 
ing force on me— and that just as soon as pos- 
sible. I was baptized. 

I am going to Utah again. Something draws 
me westward. I am going to give up for good my 
business here and find someming out there with 
you. I want mother to go with me, but she says 
no. She is not strong enough for the journey, 
she claims. I have told her all about you^ and 
she listens quietly, I don't know what she thmks. 
I wish you could get acquainted with her. She 
couldn't help loving you, I am sure. 

You did not tell me in your last letter your 
father's address. Please don't forget this time 
as I want to write him. May I hope for an early 
reply to this letter! I expect to be in Salt Lake 
by Christmas. I would like to hear from you 
before I leave here. 

I am sincerely yours, 
Chesteb Lawbenge. 

Julia, after finishing the letter, looked a long 
time out of the window. The short day was clos- 
ing, and there were signs of snow in the air. She 
was glad that Chester had joined the Church, 
and yet the joy for her was not altogether perfect. 
Would he stick to itf Did he join for a purpose 
other than for the truth and his soul's salvation? 
No; she did not think so. He seemed to her 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 167 

always to be so sincere, so gentle, so open- 
hearted. She liked him and his company, yet 
she wished that evening he would not come to 
Salt Lake. Why, she could not tell. 

The click of the sewing machine came up to 
her from down stairs. Aunt Jane had been work- 
ing on a dress for Rose for a week. It was to be 
finished that evening, but the work was behind. 
Aunt Jane had not been well, so she could not sit 
steadily at the sewing. This particular dress 
was to be a fine one for an especially grand occa- 
sion. Julia had seen the mother's unusual 
worry and she had lessened her other duties as 
much as possible. 

Julia opened her letter, turned to the dim light 
to see if she could read again ; but the room was 
too dark. She placed it on the dresser, and went 
down stairs. Just then the front door opened 
and closed with a bang, as Rose rushed in, hung 
up her hat, and threw her coat across a chair. 
'My dress ready yet?" she asked. 
'No, dear." 

Rose went to the machine and looked at the 
dress, far from being finished. *'0h. Ma, you 
said you'd have it done— and now, what in the 
world shall I do!" 

*'I've done my best, but I've not been able. 
Turn on the light, Julia, and we'll see if it can't 
be done yet. Julia can help with the button 
holes, and you Rose — " 

"But, Ma, I need everv minute of time to get 



4( 



168 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

ready. ^' The girl picked up the dress and held it 
out ruefully. **But what's the use,'' she said bit- 
terly. "You can't possibly have it done by the 
time I need to put it on. Oh, Ma, I just think 
this is awful!" 

The mother with trembling fingers gathered up 
the dress again. She was very quiet, noticeable 
in Aunt Jane. 

**Julia,you getsome supper for yourself and the 
girls. I'll go on with the dress." 

Bose, as did Julia, saw that the task was 
hopeless. Then tears of uncontrolled anger and 
resentment came into Rose's eyes. She rushed 
upstairs to her room, sobbing out her bitter dis- 
appointment. 

The machine clicked again. Julia went into 
the kitchen. A big lump was in her throat. She 
replenished the fire in the range, and placed the 
tea-kettle on. Wouldn't they eat in the kitchen? 
she asked, seeing the dinning room table was litr 
tered with sewing that ought not to be disturbed. 
**Yes," replied Aunt Jane, not looking up from 
her work. 

Julia busied herself in the kitchen. Click, click 
went the machine in the other room, then it 
stopped and did not start again. Julia was glad 
she had got through with the long seams. The 
machine was an old one and hard running. Sup- 
per was about ready. Should she go in and help 
with the button holes? Should she? Rose just 
deserved to get left, the way she treated her 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 169 

mother— but— well, for Aunt Jane's sake she 
would. 

The front door again opened and Marcie en- 
tered more deliberately. She was not bidden to 
the grand affair ; she had time to hang up both 
her coat and hat. Julia heard her say something 
to her mother, then came a scream, and an 
excited call of "Rose, Julia!" 

Julia pushed the swinging door open and saw 
Marcie bending over her mother whose head lay 
helplessly on the machine. 

**Mother, mother!" called Marcie. **0h, what 
is the matter!" The girl lifted up her mother's 
head. Her face was pale with a cruel red mark 
on her cheek where it had hit a sharp point on 
the machine. **Rose!" shouted Marcie again. 

Mother's— oh, Julia, is she dead?" 
No, no — she has just fainted. She isn't dead 
— be quiet." 

Rose appeared in the doorway, and with a cry 
ran to her mother. They lifted the limp form 
from the chair by the machine to the sofa. Then 
they bathed her face, and unloosed her clothing, 
and in a few minutes she opened her eyes. She 
lay perfectly quiet, but looked strangely around. 
This was an entirely new experience, both for 
her and the girls. A sigh of great relief escaped 
them when they saw the mother revive. 

* 'Mother, are you better? What can we do 
for youf How did you hurt your face like this?" 

The mother was quiet, but as the girls plied 
her with questions, she at last said in a weak 



44 

44 



a- 



170 PINEY KIDdE COTTAdE 

voice, *'I just want to rest." Then she turned 
and closed her eyes again. After a time, when 
they had assured themselves that she was sleep- 
ing, they drew a cover over her, and turned out 
the light. In the kitchen by the uneaten sup- 
per, the girls talked. 

* 'Mother has never done this before," said 
Marcie. 

**No; she has never been so weak and so tired 
before," said Julia. 

I guess we're thoughtless," suggested Marcie. 
Your mother," continued Julia, has worn her- 
self out— for— working for— you girls — and you 
do not seem to understand it." 

The others said nothing. This was no time to 
resent Julia's ''preaching," as they called it; 
besides,they could not deny what she said. 

*'She must have fainted and fallen on the 
machine. That's an awful bump she got," re- 
marked Marcie. 

**Yes;" explained Julia, "I heard the machine 
going as she worked on Rose's dress, which it 
seems had to be ready ; and the machine stopped 
and I thought she was through with it." 

Rose with new tears in her eyes spoke at last. 

Suppose she had died!" she said. 
She will die some day," said Julia. **Girls, 
let's try to remember that now. We'll not forget 
it afterwards, but, oh, how much better to keep 
it in mind now— now — " 

"And act accordingly," said Rose throufirh her 
flowing tears. 



a 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Chester Lawrence arrived in Salt Lake a week 
before Christmas, and he called immediately on 
Julia. Marcie and Rose took a lively interest in 
the stranger. 

'*Look here, Julia, you're a sly one," remarked 
Rose the evening after his first visit. **Why 
didn't you tell us you had a beau? He's a dwidy 
—and all the way from Chicago!" 

Julia laughed with just a trace of embarrass- 
ment. **He's not my beau," she said. 

''That'll do to tell. Say, who is he? Where 
did you get acquainted with himf Gee, he's fine 
looking!" 

**Is he?" asked Julia. 

*'Now, innocence! But, honest, who is he?" 

* 'Didn't I introduce you? His name is Chester 
Lawrence. He— he is a friend of father's." 

That is as far as she would go. She did not 
want to tell the girls any detailed history of the 
man. That would do no good; besides it might 
make it annoying for him. But what of Aunt 
Jane? She had known his mother, and she might 
have heard the boy's name. Chester, so her 
father had declared, had the voice and looks of 
his mother. 

But Aunt Jane did not recognize him, not 
at first; and Julia noticed carefully. The 



172 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

mother went about her work as nsnal, with slow- 
er steps, and a modulation in her copious talk. 
The girls were a little more thoughtful and con- 
siderate since the scare they had received. Rose 
had missed that ""fine affair" and she and Marcie 
had finished the dress. 

Chester brought his certificate of membership 
with him, and joined the ward wherein Julia 
lived. He was a regular attendant at Sunday 
meetings and at the Mutuals. He usually walked 
home with the girls after evening meetings, and 
they found him good company. Sunday after- 
noons he went with them to the Tabernacle or 
spent the time at their home. His gentlemanly 
bearing and his attentiveness completely won 
them all, even to Aunt Jane. The Christmas 
holidays came,and he took part with them. The 
people of the ward began te call him * 'Julia's 
beau." 

•* Julia," said Aunt Jane one day, ''Brother 
Lawrence reminds tne so much of your father's 
first wife. I have noticed it lately. I wasn't very 
well acquainted with her— what was her maiden 

namef*^ 

"It was Lawrence," Julia replied. 

"I thought so. You of course would never 
know, but your father would have noticed the 
strange resemblance. Did he ever say anything 
about it?'' 

Julia would have to tell the truth or hedge. 
She might as well confide in Aunt Jane. She 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 173 

had thought of doing it anyway, for it was hard 
to keep the secret alone. She wanted someone 
to whom she could talk freely. 

**Aunt Jane, I want to tell you something; but 
I am going to ask you not to tell it to the girls or 
to anyone else.*' 

*'Yes." 

*'You perhaps know that father's first wife had 
a son before she married father." 

"I heard about it—yes." 

*'Well, Chester Lawrence is that son.*' 

'*You don't say! Well, well— that explains the 
resemblance, of course.'' Then these two ex- 
changed a good many confidences, and Julia felt 
better that she had placed part of her burden on 
other shoulders. 

One Sunday evening, shortly after the first of 
the year, a company of young people were gath- 
ered in Aunt Jane's parlor. The wind was blow- 
ing with cold and snow outside, and the fire in 
the grate felt good and looked cozy. One more 
was added to the usual group consisting of Aunt 
Jane, Chester and the three girls. This was Will 
Summerville, a lately returned missionary. Will 
had kept company with Marcie before he had 
gone on his mission, and they had exchanged a 
good many letters during the two years of his 
absence. The returned elder was the center of 
interest that evening. What a diflference there 
was in his freedom of speech and his easy man- 
ner from the somewhat shy young man who had 



174 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

left them twenty-six months before! Mq,rcie 
looked with admiring eyes at the strong face, the 
straight, manly form ; Rose plied him with ques- 
tions ; Julia listened with deep interest ; and Ches- 
ter profited very much by what was said. 

**And you went to Paris," said Rose. *'How 
fine ! Tell us about Paris . ' ' 

"Pd better show you some views, '^ said Will. 
**These can tell you more than I"— and he 
brought from his overcoat pocket a package of 
post cards. "I bought cards of every place I 
visited. They are cheap, and if you are careful 
you can get some very srood ones. Then I just 
wrote the date of my visit in the comer— and 
here I have an illustrated account of my travels.'' 

The cards were examined while Will delivered 
the descriptive talk which followed the exhibition. 

"That's the Eifel Tower. The elevator crawls 
up that leg to the first platform. Even from that 
elevation the houses are far below. Then we go 
straight up, up to the second stage, and then on 
to the top. One can stop at each of the plat- 
forms. The top is nearly one thousand feet from 
ground, and Paris lies below like a toy city. * * 
This is the Arch de Triumph from which a fine 
view may be had of the boulevards. That build- 
ing is the Louvre, the great art gallery. One 
needs a week at least to see it. It is useless to 
try to see everything here, so the way I did was 
to select just a limited number of pictures that I 
had heard of or seen copies of, and these I found 



4C- 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 175 

and took a good look at. One can*t stand too 
much picture gazing at one time, so the best way 
is to spend an hour or so each day if that is pos- 
sible. * * The Grand Opera House? Yes, 
that's the place where I had a comfortable nap." 

What! Went to sleep?" 

Well, it was a terrible thing to do, no doubt; 
but it was this way : we had had a most strenu- 
ous day. I was so tired I could hardly walk; 
but we had to see the Opera House. We pur- 
chased the cheapest tickets which brought us up 
by the roof in one comer where we could see 
but half the stage. It was very hot up there, and 
I was very tired. Then there was the bad air and 
the beautiful music— well, I went to sleep. I 
couldn't understand the singing, anyway." 

'What a sacrilege 1" exclaimed Rose. 

Granted," agreed Will— **but I can say I've 
been there, and I don't tell everyone the details. 
By the way, there is something interesting about 
tMs opera house. It is a magnificent building, of 
course; but I was surprised at the genuine de- 
mocracy found there. Between the acts every- 
body leave their seats and promenade in the 
Grand Salon, a large room in front. They come 
from the cheap top seats to the finest and most 
expensive, and the cap and short coat of the 
tourist may be seen along with the elegant gowns 
from the boxes. Such a thing wouldn't be 
allowed in a London theatre.'' 






176 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

**And what about the fine ladies in Paris?" 
asked Rose. 

**I didn't see any." 

"Didn't see any? How's that?" 

**I saw two kinds of women in Paris: the 
working class, which appeared to me coarse and 
not beautiful, by any means; the supposedly fine 
women were so bedaubed with what we western- 
ers commonly call *paint/ that I could not tell 
whether they were beautiful or not. Certainly, 
the painted effect is not beautiful, it is most re- 
pulsive to me." 

**0h," said Eose glancing at her sister as 
though they were not altogether free from the 
vanity of an artificial complexion. 

Will continued his description, and his com- 
ments on the countries he had seen, which in- 
cluded Switzerland, Holland and a part of Ger- 
many. It was all very interesting, and the com- 
pany listened and looked as if they were pleased. 

Supper being ready. Aunt Jane announced that 
fact to the company. Around the table the con- 
versation continued on various topics. 

**You know," said Will, **we often hear how 
we 'Mormons' treat or mistreat our women. They 
tell us we plow the field with them, and make 
them generally beasts of burden. Well, one day 
in Germany, I saw eight women abreast hoeing 
in a field. I went out and took a snap at them 
with my kodak, and made some pictures to 
show that in Germany rather than in Utah the 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 177 

women do field work. I have never seen a woman 
do farm work here.^' 

** Julia here is a farmer," suggested Eose. 
**She can milk cows, make butter, and do all 
such things." 

**Yes, and I can hitch up the horses and pitch 
hay too, if necessary,^' said Julia. 

**Besides bake bread and turn out a washing, 
which is more to the point in this household," 
added Aunt Jane." 

**I believe I'd like to go on a mission," said 
Julia, by way of turning the conversation. 

**There's no great encouragement for lady mis- 
sionaries in Europe at present," said Will. 
**They had better stay at home and teach 
school." 

"There you are, Julia, that's encouragement 
for you," put in Marcie. 

"There'll have to be a lot of lady teachers, for 
the men are all leaving the profession." 

"Aren't you going to teach again?" asked 
Rose. 

"I?" asked Will. "I'm through with school 
teaching. The great mistake I made was in 
hanging on to it so long." 

"I had thought of preparing for something like 
that myself," said Chester. "I have been hesi- 
tating between the teacher and the doctor. I 
understand it will take about the same amount of 
time to properly prepare for each." 

"Then let me help you decide," suggested 

12 



178 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



Will. **I suppose you would want to make a 
living at teaching?' * 

**0f course." 

"Have you investigated the question of sal- 
aries?^' 

**Not much; no." 

**Well, you had better do that.'' 

**But there^s a lot of good to be done by 
teaching." 

**True. I'm not saying anything against that. 
If you have an income from some other source, 
teach for the good you can do. Sacrifice your- 
self for the good of your country," exclaimed the 
speaker somewhat dramatically, with fork in 
air. The girls laughed. 

**Be a doctor,'' continued Will, '*I'm going in 
for it at this late day. It's the only sure thing. 
We two will form a partnership and defy the 
doctor's trust. Until the Millennium people are 
going to get sick, and we will never run out of a 
job, because people will spend all they have to be 
freed from ailments of the flesh, and the doctors 
know it. But seriously, let me give you a little 
history. Clinton Brown and I were schoolmates. 
We both were enthusiastic to become educators 
of the rising generation. We taught for two 
years out in Stringtown at a salary of sixty dol- 
lars, eight months— figure that out, Marcie. Well, 
Clint looked ahead. He quit teaching, went to 
Chicago and studied medicine. Being a bright 
fellow and studious, he completed his course in 






PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 179 

three years. That was before I left for my mis- 
sion. Clint has now a big practice in this city. 
He has already reached the automobile stage in 
his material advancement. Think of a school 
teacher ever owning an automobile! A school 
teacher has no business to get married or make a 
permanent home." 

'You're not serious now," said Rose. 
Well," he laughed, *'yes, I am. Alia school 
teacher should have is a tent, which, when the 
trustees discharge him, he can, like the Arab, sil- 
ently fold and steal away." 

**How do you account for this difference m 
prestige between the doctor and the teacher?" 
enquired Chester. 

**In this, that people still think more of their 
bodies than they do of their souls." 

**I think it is time we were changing the sub- 
ject," said Marcie. "Julia here will be so dis- 
couraged if we don't.'' 

'*0h, this doesn't apply to the girls," Will hast- 
ened to explain. '*They ought to have a few 
years of teaching. It's good training for them, 
preparatory for the real business of life— getting 
married and raising a family. No, Sister Elston, 
you go right on." 

Will Summerville **brothered" and **sistered" 
everybody, the girls noticed. **He's a newly re- 
turned missionary," remarked Rose. **He'll get 
over that in due time. They all do." 

**Why should they?" asked Julia. **We 



180 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

always say brother and sister out in the country. 
I think it sounds better/' 

**So do I,'^ added Chester. 

Aunt Jane did not say much. This was the 
young people's evening. When supper was over 
she sent them all into the parlor again, while she 
began to clear the table. Will became quieter, 
letting Rose and Chester do most of the talking. 
Julia slipped out into the kitchen, but she soon 
came back. Aunt Jane could be heard going 
back and forth with the dishes— at least Will Sum- 
merville heard her. He heard her put the dishes 
in the pan, then pour the water on, and then he 
knew she was washing them. He became unusu- 
ally quiet. The others gathered around the 
piano, and urged him to join them in the songs. 
He looked at Eose, and more closely at Marcie 
seated on the piano stool. The electric lights 
glowed down on her shapely head, and her pretty 
face was full of color. Will could see that she 
was not the least disturbed because her mother 
had cleared the table alone and was now washing 
a large stack of dishes in the kitchen. A little 
ache clung around Will's heart when he realized 
that fact. Was Marcie that kind of girl? It was 
just thoughtlessness, he knew, but it told so 
much. The girls were to entertain the company. 
That was what Aunt Jane had told Julia, and 
would have told her daughters. But Will knew 
that this was the custom or it could not have 
been done so easily. 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 



The dishes still rattled in the kitchen. Will 
slipped out and was not noticed for a few min- 
utes. Then they heard him talking to Aunt Jane, 
and one person at least decided ui her own mind 
that her company had become tiresome. As he 
did not come back, Rose went out to investigate. 

"Well, the idea!" she exclaimed. 

The others also filed into the kitchen to see 
what was going on. There was Will Summer- 
ville with Aimt Jane's big apron tied around him, 
wiping the dishes she was washing and stacking 
on the table. The girls tried to get the drying 
cloth from him, but he stuck to his post. 

"Go back and finish your song," said he. 
"Aunt Jane and I will join you when the dishes 
are done." 

They went back; but there was no singing. 
The girls tried to laugh, but somehow the atinos- 
phere had changed. The pauses became painful 
mitil Will and Aunt Jane, having finished their 
task, came in, and he with his big, fine voice 
started singing, 

"We thank Thee, God, for a Prophet." 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Julia's school days went pleasantly and swiftly, 
and ere she was aware the winter was passing. 
Lessons would be over all too soon for her. She 
was just beginning to get a glimpse of that fairy 
land which for the student lies in books. She 
was one of the older members of her classes, with 
mind more matured. Towards the end of the 
school year she was encouraged to continue on 
with her studies so that she might enter the 
second year at the beginning of the next year. 

Her father wrote her every week. His letters 
were full of encouragement and cheer, for he hid 
from her the fact that the English climate was 
not agreeing with him. He who had lived most of 
his days in the high and dry altitude of the West 
could not stand the low, wet England. He wrote 
of his missionary experiences, and then he coun- 
seled her, trying to talk through the pen in his 
old familiar way— and these letters were a great 
comfort to the sometimes lonely girl. 

With the coming of spring's warm sunshine, 
the green grass and the bursting trees, Julia felt 
a tugging at her heart to be out and away — away 
to the stretch of sagebrush, to the big horizon, to 
the unsullied air, and to all the enticing wilder- 
ness of Piney Ridge Cottage. Sometimes she 
climbed up the hill to the north of the school to 



_ »m^^ ■ 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 



get a "lookout;" bat the view was disappoint- 
ing. The city at her feet was covered with 
a black cloud which even hid the distant moun- 
tains and the sparkling lake. She wondered 
how people could be satisfied to breathe such 
blackness which poured from the chimneys and 
spread into the air. She had read of the early 
pioneers, and in fancy she saw them emerge 
from Emigration Canyon and make their camps 
on the sage-brush plain of the valley. What a 
change had taken placet Would the Flat and 
Piney Ridge also be thus transformed? She 
hoped not. 

"But it's bound to come," said Chester Law- 
rence, who sometimes met her at the school- 
yard gate and walked with her up to the hills, 
"It is only a matter of a few years, when all that 
barren country will be settled. Of course, there 
may not be any large city to fill the air with 
smoke, but there will be plenty of neighbors." 

"Well, I won't object to neighbors if they are 
the right kind," said Julia. 

"You expect to go back to Piney Ridge Cot^ 
tage, I see." 

"I do. City life hasn't weaned me yet. I don't 
think it will. I hope it will not. I want to go 
to school, oh, a long, long time, then I am goinir 
to Piney Ridge to live. 

"But most people leave the country for t 
city to live, as you say. According to the co: 
mon theory, in order to really live one must ha 



cc- 



184 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

big houses, big crowds, noise of traffic, theatres, 
parties, society — " 

**Tastes differ. Mine, I suppose is strange, as 
I am an odd girl. What I want right now is a 
gallop over the hills of Piney Bidge or a scram- 
ble up the sides of Old Thunder." 

They were resting on a green bank. Julia's 
hat lay on the grass. Chester Lawrence fanned 
his face with his new Panama. 

'Who said you are odd?" he asked. 
0, many have called me that. I suppose liv- 
ing so long all by myself has something to do 
with it." 

**There is an oddness that is very attractive, 
Julia. In your case I wouldn't call it oddness, 
however, I would call it individuality?" 

She looked at him, and he avoided her clear, 
steady eyes. *'I have seen thousands of women, 
I know hundreds of them, but I have never met 
one just like you.'' 

**I guess not. You know, of the thousands of 
leaves on a tree no two are alike. It's just the 
same with human beings, I suppose." 

**True; but I don't mean that. No one has 
appealed to me like you have, Julia." * * 

**It's because you never had a sister, and I am 
a sort of sister to you, you know." 

**You are more than a sister, you know I love 
you in quite a different way. I have not said so 
as directly before, but I have tried to tell it to 
you in many ways which you can understand." 



4t- 
4C' 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 185 

Julia became quiet. Her eyes roamed no more 
to distant hill or valley, but looked down to the 
grass which she pulled aimlessly up by the roots. 

**I hope you are not angry with me for speak- 
ing so plainly. I couldn't help it. I have car- 
ried my burden of love alone as long as I can. 
You must now know of it. Think about it, Julia. 
Think of me the best you can. But, oh, dear 
girl, if you only knew what you have done for 
me, if you could only realize what you are to me, 
you would not despise me—" 

1 don't despise you— don't say that." 
'No, of course not— but I want you to love me, 
too. You do, you can do that, can you not?" 

The girl leaned her arm on her bundle of books 
and peered into the black cloud below. The sun 
streamed through a rift near the western moun- 
tain. Her face flushed and paled in the light of 
the sun. 

**Julia." 

**Yes." 

"Tell me. Give me a word of encourage- 
ment.'' ♦ * 

**What shall I say?" 

**Say you love me. * * Can't you say that?" 

**I don't know." 

**What does your heart say, Julia?** 

**I don't know. * * I' m only a simple, ignor- 
ant girl. I don't know much." 

**There is wisdom not found in books, and you 
have a large store of that. Why, I thought I 



4C' 
4»- 



186 PINEY RIDGE OOTTAaE 

knew something once upon a time. I have found 
out how ignorant I was. True wisdom has come 
to me through the gospel, and I owe^ that to 
you." 

^No you don't. The Lord is the Giver." 
True; but you were the instrument." 
1 haven't done anjrthing. * * It is getting 
late. Let's go home." 

She arose and brushed the grass from her 
dress. 

**May I walk home with you?" asked he. 

**Why. of course." 

"And you're not angry with mef " 

'*No; certainly not." 

**But, Julia, before we go, won't you say a 
word more to me. May I not continue to love 
you with the hope of some day making you my 
wife?" 

**0h, Chester, I— I"— the tears were in her 
eyes, and he longed to take her in his arms. — **I 
have never thought of such a thing. I'm not 
going to get married— not for a long time, any- 
way. I have so much to do. I want to go to 
school, andthenl'mfather^s housekeeper— and— 
let's go. Aunt Jane will wonder where I am." 

They went down the hill and along the street, 
Chester carrying her bundle of books. Neither 
could say much, not even on commonplace mat- 
ters. He would not go in the house, but parted 
with her at the gate. 

**Good night," he said tenderly. **Don^t forget 



PINEY RIDaE COTTAaE 187 

that I love you— and that you are to love me— 
don't forget— goodnight." 

It was hard for Julia to get her lessons that 
evening. She went to bed early, so that she 
might think of what Chester had said. What did 
it meant There was Glen Curtis somewhere to 
the south who had said the same thing in a dif- 
ferent way. But he had deserted her completely. 

A card at Christmas had been the only token 
from him, and she had neglected to send one in 
return until she was ashamed— it was too late. 
Chester had been so attentive, so kind and good. 
Would it not be the greatest unkindness to disap- 
point him? He was such good company. * * 
But did she love him? * * What is this they 
call love? Books are written about it, poets sing 
about it. By all the signs she had ever read of, 
it ought to bring thrills of purest delight, heart 
burning with joy, a soul overflowing with content- 
ment and peace. She had never experienced 
these things. Did she love Chester? Did she 
love GHen? 

'*I don't know,^' she said aloud, **I don't 
know." The tears wet her pillow, and it was a 
long time before she went to sleep. 

The very next day Chester met her a^ain at 
the school-yard gate, lifted his hat, smiled pleas- 
antly, and took her books. She usually walked 
home, and they swung along side by side. He 
was his usual self. He talked to her of incidents 
in the office where he was employed, how he had 



188 PINEY RIDGE COTTAaE 

taken part in a discussion on **Mormonism" and 
the result. She was quiet, but he appeared not 
to notice. Arriving at the house he went in 
and chatted a few minutes with Aunt Jane. 
Then he left by bidding them a pleasant good 
evening. Not a word was said about the inci- 
dent of the evening before. 

Day by day Chester showed his attentiveness. 
He was careful. He did not force his attentions. 
What denial could Julia offer to such whole- 
hearted devotion? She thought very kindly of 
the man who was so wholly good and kind. 

One day Aunt Jane asked her, ** Julia, are you 
and Brother Lawrence engaged? ' ^ 

The girl starts at the question. **Why, no, 
certainly not,*' she replied. 

**Well, it looks like it," said Aunt Jane. Peo- 
ple do not usually keep such steady company 
unless they are engaged. I just wanted to 
know." 

**Aunt Jane, is it wrong to be together so 
much if we are not engaged?" 

**No; there's nothing wrong that I can see; 
only young people ought to be careful not to en- 
courage where they cannot or will not fulfill. 
Chester is very attentive and if he hasn't already 
asked you to be his wife he will shortly, 1 have no 
doubt. Then you'll have to say something 
definite." 

Julia said nothing then at any rate. 

**You*re encouraging him to think you will say 



Ci- 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 189 

yes," continued Aunt Jane. '*Don't you love 
him?" 

I don^t know, Auntie/' 
^Well, you had better find out, and that as 
soon as possible, it seems to me, if you want to 
avoid trouble." 

Aunt Jane's words awoke Julia. Was she doing 
right? Suppose she never could say yes to Ches- 
ter, what then? He was patiently serving her 
day by day, and she was accepting that service. 
Although he never spoke as plainly as he did 
that afternoon on the hillside, he let her know by 
subtle word or deed that he loved her, and took 
her return kindness as an acceptance of that love. 
Julia thought of his life's story, of the disadvan- 
tages he had been under, of his acceptance of the 
gospel against much opposition. She could not 
desert him. His mother, where and what was 
she? Outside the Church — ^in the dark. Could 
she not be helped? Julia's mother had wanted 
to help her, but she was denied that. Could 
not Julia herself do something for her mother's 
sake? How? By helping the son, by loving 
that son, by becoming his wife, as he so earnestly 
desired. 

Julia wrote her father all about Chester and 
herself. She tried to tell him freely her own feel- 
ings, but she had to acknowledge that the expla- 
nation was not very clear. Then she waited for 
an answer. The spring months passed and the 
school closed. Julia wanted to go to Piney 



190 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

Bidge. Chester said he would go with her, but 
Aunt Jane advised against her going. If she 
were to catch up in her classes she would better 
keep on with her studies at home. After a while 
the girls would have their summer vacation, and 
they would go with her to Piney Hidge. So Julia 
remained studying a little, fretting some, and 
thinking much. She was in the lull before the 
storm, 



CHAPTEE XVm. 

Man plans and proposes, but the "Mormon'' 
missionary system steps in, frustrates the plans, 
and scatters the propositions to the four winds. 
Glen Curtis had just closed his second year of 
teaching. He had been exceedingly careful of 
his money all the winter, so he had enough 
saved that he might go on with his education at 
the University. The summer he would spend in 
the open country on the Flat, where he could aug- 
ment his pocket book and harden his muscles. 
His trunk was packed and the day set for his 
departure. He had let the srood people know 
that he was not coming back, and they said they 
were sorry. 

Glen called at the postoflBce for the last time 
for mail. Letters for him were few, and he had 
long since given up looking for so much as a 
card from Salt Lake. He thought that he 
might get some reply to the one he had sent 
at Christmas, but none had ever come. What's 
the use? he had thought. She don't care a snap 
— she won't even send me a card. 

The postmaster threw him a letter with "that's 
all." Glen glanced at the typewritten address, 
cut the edge with his knife, and opened the sin- 
gle sheet. What! He read it again. Yes, it 



192 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

was a call for Glen Curtis to go on a mission to 
the Netherlands. 

Glen walked out in a dazed way, and sauntered 
down the street. He had not had the slightest 
inkling of this. What of his schooling now? 
What of his cherished plang? All gone I * * 
It was a soft evenins: in early summer. Glen did 
' not go directly home. He strolled down to the 
bridge which spanned the creek. The rushing 
water was music to him. He leaned on the rail- 
ing. Then he took out his letter and read it 
again. He had always expected such a letter, 
and now it had come. Well, he would accept, 
of course. Refusal never enters the mind of a 
true Latter-day Saint; but he needed a little time 
by himself to readjust himself to this crisis which 
had come into his life. 

It was dark when he went back to the town, 
after a long tramp by the river. He was happy 
now — such a wonderful joy sang in his heart. He 
had the money with which to go and with which 
to support himself. He could finish his school- 
ing afterwards — the Lord would open the way. 

He showed his letter to the folks with whom he 
was staying, chuckling over it as if it were some 
precious document. 

'Are you going?" they asked. 
Of course I'm going— I'm going right up to 
Salt Lake and report that I am ready. Just a 
trip home and I am oflE." 

The next day Glen took the train for Salt Lake. 






PINET RIDGE COTTAGE 193 

He called at the President's office, announced his 
willingness, and explamed his circumstances. He 
could go within a month, within a week, if ne- 
cessary. A company was to leave in ten days. 
Would he be ready! Yes. 

Should he call on Julia! He would have to 
consider carefully, and he did so while he was 
eatinc: his dinner at a restaurant. He had her 
address. The place was easily found. But what 
was the use! Julia never cared for him. Should 
he call she might snub him. The folks with whom 
she lived were strangers to him. * ♦ But he 
must see her once more. ''Hope springs eternal 
in the human breast." Perhaps she was yet 
heart free. Chester Lawrence, he knew, lived in 
the city, but there might not be anything serious 
between them. He straightened his tie and went 
out. He would walk; street cars set one down 
too suddenly at the door. 

It was late in the afternoon before he got 
through with some business, and he walked out 
toward the Borden home. The electric bell made 
a startling noise in a quiet house. Glen's heart 
beat fast when he heard someone coming. The 
door opened, showing an elderly woman. 

*'Is this where Miss Elston lives!" asked Glen. 

**Yes, sir." 

**Is she at home!" 

**No, sir; she went out a few minutes ago." 

**Will she be long away!" 

"Well, I can't say exactly." 

18 



194 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

"My name is Curtis. Hive up on the Flat, and 
I thought I would just call on Julia before I leave 
for my mission." 

"Yes, indeed. She will be glad to see you. 
Won't you come in and wait?'* 

"Could I overtake her, do you think, if you 
should tell me the direction she tookf 

"You might. She usually walks toward the 
park. Do you know where Liberty Park isf 

"No; I do not.'' 

"Well, just turn to the left at the next street 
and go straight ahead. You'll find it easily." 

"Thank you— good afternoon.*' 

"And if you don't find her you had better come 
back here." 

"Thank you." 

Glen followed directions. There were a number 
of people on the sidewalks, but none that resem- 
bled Julia. He kept on down the street, arriv- 
ing at the park in good time. As he walked 
under the tall trees whose interlacing tops waved 
over his head, he thought, What a beautiful 
place! Carriages were rolling leisurely around 
the wide drive, while automobiles whizzed past. 
Then the smoothly clipped lawn stretched away 
to other trees, and flowers and shrubbery were 
arranged in artistic profusion. Glen's surprise 
grew. He had not heard there was such a charm- 
ing spot in Salt Lake City. 

But there were no signs of Julia, though a good 
many people were strolling about or reclining on 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 195 



the grrass. Children were enjoying the swings. 
At one side of the park Glen found a bunch of 
wild roses, some of which he plucked. What is 
more dainty than a wild rose ! It reminded him 
of someone else— yes, and there were thorns, too. 
Wild roses grew along the half-dry water course 
which extended down from the mountains out 
near Piney Bidge. Glen had plucked a good 
many bouquets from those bushes, which bou- 
quets had later adorned the Cottage table, send- 
ing their sweet, delicate fragrance through the 
room. How suggestive is perfume I Memories 
sad and sweet filled his mind from those roses. 

He went out towards the lawns again where the 
light was still strong, and there he found her. 
She was sitting on the gi-ass profiled against the 
light in the sky. Reclining on the grass close by 
her was Chester Lawrence. He was looking up 
into her face and talking earnestly to her. Glen 
leaned, out of sight, against a tree and gazed. 
He could not hear what they were saying, but he 
could see the expression on their faces as they 
looked at each other and smiled. What had he, 
Glen Curtis, come there for! Why had he trailed 
herf To see this! Fool that he was— but, oh, 
how his heart dropped like a leaden weight, and 
his soul tasted of despair I 

How beautiful she was ! A little thinner, a little 
paler. The tan of the open wilderness had given 
place to the soft brown of her natural complex- 
ion. Her hat was off. Her brown hair was 



196 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

arranged in the city style. Yes; she was a city 
girl now, with city ways and city companions. 
She wouldn't look at a country boy. * * 
Should he go up to themf He might tell her he 
was going on a mission, and say goodby. Would 
she care! 

The twilight deepened. The red of the west- 
em sky gleamed back of the trees. Still those 
two sat on the grass talking and laughing. The 
watcher saw Chester's eyes rest on her in devour- 
ing eagerness. Well, he could at least look too, 
—get her image fixed upon his memory, and then 
depart. It would be his last look for a long time 
—perhaps forever. His heart called, * 'Julia, 
Julia!" but his lips were mute— and she! she 
was at that instant looking up with big wonder 
in her eyes, listening to what her companion 
was saying. 

Then they arose, and Glen hid behind a tree. 
They walked side by side across the grass and 
out of the park. Glen Curtis, with a bunch of 
wUd roses clutched in his hand, hurried towards 
town. He carried the flowers for a number of 
blocks before he threw them away. He walked 
all the way to the station, not even getting tired, 
and took the first train for Croft and the Flat 
and the folks at home. 

** Won't you come inf " Julia asked her compan- 
ion. *'It isn't late." 
''Yes; for a little while." 



PINET EIDGE COTTAGE 197 

They went in. Julia found that the girls were 
out and Aunt Jane was in bed; so they went 
into the parlor. She seated herself at the piano 
and touched the keys lightly. "I do wish I could 
play," she said, "I must take lessons." 

Chester came up to her and placed his hands 
lightly on her shoulders. "Julia," he said, "can 
you tell me anything yetf " Have you been think- 
ing as I asked you? I am waiting so patiently." 

She swung around on the stool, and he stood 
before her. "You know I am waiting patiently,' ' 
he reiterated. 

"Yes; but I don't know yet. You'll have to 
wait longer.*' 

"Won't you say yes, tonight— right now! 
Oh, Julia— sweetheart— say you love me! I can't 
stand the uncertainty longer." He would have 
come to her, but she slipped around the table. 
Then they both seated themselves, looking at 
each other across the pile of books. 

"I guess I am not fair to you, Chester," she 
said. "I guess I have encouraged you, not know- 
ing what I have done. I have been selfish, I 
suppose, for I have enjoyed your company. You 
have been so good to me." 

"Let it continue. Let me still be good to you 
—let me make you happier yet." 

"No, Chester; you mustn't talk like that— not 
yet; for I can't give you any encouragement — '* 

"Julia, for God's sake don't say that! Don't 
cut me off. Let me hope a little longer. I'll 




196 t»INEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

give you all the time you want. You'll leam to 
love me. My love for you will bring it out." 

"Cliester,I'm not saying that I don't love you/' 
said Julia deliberately across the table. **I must 
have time and you must be patient. Perhaps 1 
am doing wrong in going out so much with you. 
If so, we will quit. If not, let us go on until I 
know more— until my heart speaks with a sure 
word. Won't that satisfy youf " 

*'Yes; it must, but—" 

Here the two girls came in with much noise, 
and the conversation had to change its course. 
Chester soon said good night. 

Bose was chattering. *'I think he's just hor- 
rid," she said. ''These returned missionaries are 
so religiously straight they can't see half an inch 
around a comer." 

**If you think he's horrid," retorted Marcie, 
"why do you go out with himf " 

"Who else can I tag! Julia and her young 
man are so shy. I couldn't get near them, 
besides — '' 

"Girls," shouted Aunt Jane, "make less noise 
and go to bed." And Julia was glad of the 
admonition. 

The next morning Aunt Jane asked Julia if she 
had met the evening before a friend from out 
Piney Ridge way. 

"No," said Julia, "Did some one call? Who 
was it?" 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 199 



**A young man— Curtis, I think his name 



was." 



t»i 



'Glen Curtis? I'm sorry I wasn't home. Yes, 
he is one of our neighbors. Is he in town, do 
you know?" 

"I don't? I told him you had gone for a walk 
to the park, likely, and he said he would go down 
there and try to find you. He said he was 
going on a mission." 

**0n a mission! Glen going on a mission? 
When, where?", 

*'Well, child, I didn't ask him so many ques- 
tions. He seemed disappointed in not finding 
you— but if he wants to see you very bad, he'll 
come around again." 

But Aunt Jane did not know Glen Curtis— not 
even so well as Julia did, and hers was not a 
profound knowledge. Glen did not come again, 
and Julia wondered why until it occurred to her 
that he had seen Chester and her down in the 
park. That had sent him off without so much as 
a good-by. Well, she couldn't help it, she said 
to herself, though there was a lump in her throat. 

That very morning Julia received a letter from 
her father in answer to the one in which she had 
asked for direction. It was a good letter. Among 
the many things he told her was this: "Be 
careful, dear daughter, how and to whom you 
give your love. Love is such a precious, divine 
thing that it must be preserved and protected 
from all evil. Pray to God in the fervency of 



200 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

your heart for guidance in this matter. I 
must not dictate to you. Your heart must do 
that; but first you must know your heart, and 
know that it is prompting you to do the right. I 
can't tell you what you should say to Chester. 
So far as I know there are no moral or religious 
objections to him— but this T feel like saying: 
Wait. It may not be long before I will be with 
you again." 

His letter reminded her of the many times he 
had talked to her. She was never to make a 
beginning towards love with an outsider. That 
was the first rule. Well, Chester was a Church 
member, so she was safe there. Then she should 
let the Lord preserve her love until the right one 
should come. Had he come to her yetf She did 
not know. All was dark and uncertainty — and 
wasn't that enough to tell her that the Lord had 
yet in keeping her treasure! . Had she realized 
her ideal! No; not yet. 

Julia followed her father's advice, in that she 
poured out her heart for guidance in this which 
had come pressing so persistently into her life ; 
and in time, from out the darkness and uncer- 
tainty, there came the light. The next time 
Chester Lawrence should speak to her about his 
love she would give him a definite answer. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

"No, Chester, I can't marry you," said Julia. 
"I'm 80 sorry if I have given you undue encour- 
agement. I believe I know now— I have more 
light." 

"What more l^ht have you? What more do 
you know about met" He spoke deliberately, 
seemingly without feeling. They were seated on 
a bench in the park out alone under a tree. 

"No; you misunderstand me," she said. "I 
don't mean that I have found anything bad or 
different about you. I like you just as much as 
ever, only I can't marry you. The light doesn't 
lie in— in your direction. Oh, I can't help it!" 
she cried. 

"In what way does it lie!'' he asked in the 
same cold tone. 

"In no particular way. It — it just reaches out 
to heaven." 

"So your future husband is dead, is he?" 

"What do you mean! I 
you." 

"Never mind, Julia. I d 
either. Foi^ve me. • • 
walked away a few steps to 
he stood for a few moments. 
"Foi^ve me," he said in a 






202 PINEY BIDaE COTTAGE 

row took awav my reason when you rejected my 
heart. Listen to me. I believe I can talk to you 
properly now. Sit down"— she had risen. They 
both sat down again. 

"Julia, I am not going to give you up. Not 
until I die— and not then, for in the great spirit- 
world I shall find you and serve you." 

Chester, you must, you must!" she moaned. 
'Hush, there is no such thing as giving up. 
There is no such thing as fail with me in this. 
Julia, you have been my star of hope. Shall 
that star set in an eternal night of darkness? 
No, no ; I cannot stand to think of it I Julia, you 
it was that saved me from my own undoing. 
I came to this country to do harm. I came with 
evil in my heart. You drove it out,you touched 
my heart and changed it. From you 1 got my 
first glimpse of heaven through your shining 
soul I It was you that inspired me to overcome, 
that made me strong. You were diflEerent from 
other women, from other girls I had known. You 
told me, and I understood more than you uttered, 
what your ideal was, and Julia, I vowed I would 
materialize that vision of your mind. If I have 
not done it yet, I shall. I shall not fail, Julia, 
for I want you— oh, I must, I must—" 

Julia saw emotion play with a strong man as it 
might a child; but he shook himself, breathed 
freely again, and smiled. Julia, too, became 
strong, and she could answer in calmness his 
passionate appeals. 






PIKEY RIDGE COTTAGE 203 

'*You said, Chester, that you have never given 
up anything that you have set your heart on. 
Now, for once you must/' 
^No, no!" 

'Yes; you may think that giving up is the 
part of weaklings, but it takes a strong, brave 
man sometimes to give up. It is sometimes 
greater to surrender than to fight. Jesus sur- 
rendered, Peter would have fought. You have 
won in every battle of life ; you know what vic- 
tory is. You can endure to win, but can you 
stand to lose?'* 

•'Yes; anything but this— but you." 

*'It would be nothing to lose a trifle— it would 
be no test. That comes when we are called upon 
to give up that which we prize most. Can we do 
that and still remain clean and strong and not 
be crushed to earth?'' The teachings of her 
father came clearly to Julia that evening, so that 
she seemed to repeat his words. 

"But what is life without you? A blank, a 
useless existence," he said. 

"You may think so now; but you will get over 
that. Time is a great healer, I am told." 

"You are quite a preacher.'* His tones became 
hard again. His voice trembled. Once more 
he took refuge in distance, and then came back 
again. 

"Julia, I have asked the Lord for you. I have 
pleaded with Him morning, noon and night. . 
He will not refuse me. He knows how my life is 



204 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

wrapped up in your life He knows all, for I 
have told Him all. I trust him." 

The fifirPs power of resistance was nearly spent 
against this absolute faith, this firmness of will. 
Was she mistaken! Could she be wrong! Ought 
she to ruin this man's life! She did love him 
enough to prevent that. What was she that she 
should send anyone to despair! *'0h, Father," 
she prayed silently, *'help me, help me! * * 
Not my will but Thme be done ! Oh, Father! '' 

Chester seemed to hear her prayer. Was she 
coming to him! Oh, thank the Lord! She would 
still be his, and he could live. 

"Chester," she said, *'did you end your pray 
ersin that way!" 

*'In what way!'' 

** 'Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be 
done.' " 

He did not answer. 

**You asked for something that you wanted. 
You thought you had to have it. You wanted 
that thing. Nothing else would do. You put up 
your judgment against the Lord's. You would 
not allow Him to decide what was for your 

good." 

Chester was silent still. She was speaking the 
truth, and he could not deny it. He had not said 
*'Thy will be done.'* Well, this was the end. 
The situation came to him that way. But it was 
hard, this giving up. His heart cried out in 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 205 

agonizing protest, but his reason told him the end 
of his beautiful dream had come. 

Again the park trees stood dark against the 
crimson sky. Again the evening became dim and 
cool down amid the grass and trees. The day 
noises grew low, and the faint sounds of night 
boded of sleep and rest. Julia and Chester 
became strangely silent, she gazing out to the 
far-off mountains, he looking the other way into 
the darkening sky. Her thoughts were home- 
ward—out to the heart-free days at Piney Bidge 
Cottage. What pain in this love, so-called I 
What conflict of feelings, what uncertainty, what 
unrest I And she was but a child— a school girl 
who had just begun her education. Now this 
should come ! If she only had her father to go 
to; but no, she was alone. * * * 

Chester struggled hard to keep control of 
his emotions. Never before had anything like 
this come to him. He looked back on his 
acquaintanceship with Julia. He could see now 
wherein he might have read his fate, but love 
had blinded him. He tried to convince himself 
that this terrible thing was not true. Julia would 
tell him different. If she would but let him hope. 
But she had said no. Pshaw, girls may say no 
a score of times and then at last say yes. Per- 
sistence and constant attention always win. Had 
he not seen it many times! Why should he give 
up so easily * * But Julia was different. He 
had to acknowledge that. Girls who take the 



ii- 

44- 



206 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

counsel of wise parents and who go to the Lord 
for light and strength to know and do the right 
are not easily won from the ideals they form. 
They are weaklings who let the attentiveness and 
persistence of a man win them over, even though 
love is lacking; Julia was no weakling. * * 

"Let us go home,'* she said. 

They walked on side by side out of the park 
into the lighter streets. Neither spoke until they 
reached the double gate under the big tree. There 
they stopped. 

'Will you come in?" 

'No; I'll say goodby to you here and now." 
'You are not going away? You know, Chester, 
you will always be welcome— just as you always 
have been.*' 

"Yes; I am going away. I cant't live in Salt 
Lake with you so near. I must go beyond your 
power to draw me to you. I must go away— 
away oflE. ' ' 

"Oh, but I don't want to drive you away. You 
remain with your work; I'll— I'll go home." 

"Piney Ridge Cottage is not far enough. There 
will have to be mountains and seas between us." 

"You won't go home?" 

"Home? I have no home. I am an outcast. 
I thought I should have one here among the 
Saints— and do my share— but now — " 

"There are others, Chester, many better 
than I." 

"It is useless to talk like that. I shall plead no 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 207 



longer. I shall say no more to you. I shall not 
annoy you any more." 

Julia bowed her head on her hands which 
rested on the top of the gate post. Then she 
looked up. *'Good night," she said. 

He placed his own hands on hers, and she let 

them lie there in his firm pressure. "Good night 

—and goodby," he said. Then he raised her 

hands to his lips, held them there for one intense 

nstant, turned and hurried down the street. 



CHAPTER XX. 



ii 



ii- 
44- 
44- 



' Julia, what have you done with Chester Law- 
rence!" asked Rose one day, a week after the 
parting. 

1 haven't done anything with him.'^ 

Is it all off between you two!" 

'He has been my friend; he is still that, I 
hope." 

**But where is he? He hasn't been around for 
a week." 
'*I don't know where he is." 
*'Say, Julia, if you didn't want him why didn't 
you turn him over to me?" asked Rose mis- 
chievously. 

Tou may have him." 

'Thanks; when is he coming again?" 

Be said he never would call here again." 

My I that's a long time for me to wait; but 
you must have quarreled. When he does come, 
then you look out. ' ' 

But the weeks passed without Chester appear- 
ing. Julia learned that he had quit his work. 
No one knew where he had gone. The Bishop 
enquired of her, but she could tell him nothing. 
He had left no word with anyone that could be 
found. 
The latter part of August Julia received a letter 



44- 

•t| 
44- 
44 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 209 

from her father saying that as his health was not 
good, he would very likely be released soon. He 
had written to his renters at Piney Ridge that he 
would be home and able to take care of the place 
himself nest year; but he wanted Julia to con- 
tinue her school. If she could get out to Piney 
Ridge and look after things a bit before he came 
home, it might be well. 

Could shef Julia jumped at the proposition. 
She was sorry for her father's illness, but glad 
of the prospect of getting home again. Would 
Rose or Marcie go with her? but they could not 
arrange their affairs to get oS. 

Julia wrote to the people at home telling them 
she was coming. Then a few days later she 
boarded the train for Croft, where she arrived 
early one morning in late August. 

Julia went to the little hotel to enquire when the 
stage would be leaving. Mails had become daUy 
now, and the carrier picked up some additional 
business by carrying express and passengers. He 
would start within an hour for his route across the 
Plat. Things surely did appear squalid and dis- 
orderly around the station, thought Julia, as she 
looked at the board shacks fringed with discarded 
tin cans. 

At the appointed time the stage drew up at the 
post ofBce and took on the one mail b^. Tv 
passengers— a man and a woman— were alreai 
seated. Julia did not know the driver, but a. 
made her wants known. 



210 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 



ii- 
ii- 



**A11 right, Miss, if you kin sit with the driver, 
there's room; but I don't go by way of Piney 
Ridge today. That's tomorrow's route." 
'How near do you go?" 

^Why, I turn oflE at the comer just where the 
road crosses the Dry Holler— 'bout two miles, I 
reckon." 

"That's near enough, for I can walk the rest 
of the way; but my satchel is heavy." 

'*I kin bring that tomorrow, if ye say." 

So she left her baggage at the hotel and climbed 
up by the driver. The mules trotted out, and 
away they rattled. The driver was a talkative 
fellow, so he soon had Julia's name and identity. 

'*So you're old man Elston's daughter, be yef 
Why, yes, I have heam tell of him. He's away 
on a preachin' mission, I understand." 

*'Yes," replied Julia, **but he's coming home 
soon. * * There's been some changes since I 
left." 

'*Well, I should think. The whole Flat is taken 
up, and much of it is fenced. The road in many 
places has been so changed that we have to make 
long drives around the comers. I think it's a 
darned shame, this fencin' up the road. But it's 
the public be darned with these land speculators 
—I beg your pardon, sir," said he turning to the 
passenger on the rear seat, *'if you're one o' 
them.'' 

The stranger denied being a speculator. He 
agreed with the driver that the continual chang- 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 211 

ing of roads was a nuisance. He thought the 
government should take over this question of 
roads, and lay them out in such a way that they 
would be the most convenient for the public, 
regardless of what one or two land owners might 
have to say. "As it is," said he, "the public is 
required to go around the longest comers and to 
cUmb over the rockiest hills to avoid trespassing 
on private property." 

While the two men discussed this and various 
other questions, Julia listened and looked. Every- 
where there were wire fences, and much of the 
land was broken and cleared, i-eady for the fall 
planting. Up near the hills they saw a party sur- 
veying for the projected canal. There was much 
more life on the Flat. But the sun was hot and 
the road was dusty— more so than usual, Julia 
thought. 

Julia got off at the turn of the road and started 
up a well known path towards Piney Ridge. Yes, 
there was the half-dried creek bed, and the dug- 
way on the other side, which, when she climbed, 
brought her in full view of her home. The twelve 
pines soared heavenward as of old. The cedars 
and brush banked the hills with green. The 
white house, cool and clean, shone out from the 
midst of the oasis. 

Julia was warm, so she to 
sagebrush was covered with a 
tation of dust, but there was 
way. The grass was yellow. 



212 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

among the sand,and the rabbits sprang across the 
path. Would her pony be at home! Tomorrow 
she would ride. Would the cows know herf 
Julia laughed aloud at herself; but, oh, how good 
to get out to the old home again, where every 
green brush or dried fence-post suggested some 
dear memory! 

She had been expected, so her upper room had 
been made ready. Julia with quick glance saw 
that the renters had kept very well within their 
agreement. The garden was still growing, al- 
though somewhat wild. The vines had extended 
their protection to the gables, the house itself 
had been well kept. Julia threw open the door 
to her room and stepped out on the railed plat- 
form. There was the valley and the distant 
mountains and the sun in the western sky. Very 
little had changed that she could see from her 
distant viewpoint. 

She ran out to the pasture and patted the cows. 
Yes; her pony was still there. Then she visited 
the spring and drank from its cool, bubbling 
water. She remained outside until dark, and 
then went in and had bread and milk with Mr. 
and Mrs. Ross. She plied them with questions 
regarding the old neighbors and the new, about 
the school at Piney Ridge and at Thompson, and 
they were pleased to tell her all they knew. 

**And Glen Curtis,'' she asked, '*where is hef' 

**0h, he's gone on a mission to the Nether- 
lands." 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 213 

"When was that! '' 

**He left about a week a^o. His farewell party 
was held a week ago Friday. There was a big 
crowd out, and he got nearly enough to take him 
to his field of labor." 

**I'm glad to hear it. I think I'll go up to my 
room now— I'm tired out." 

But she did not soon go to bed. The stars 
were out in the clear sky. Julia drew a chair 
outside the door and sat looking up and out into 
the gray darkness. How still everything was! 
What a change from the noisy city! What a rest 
to weary heart, and tired brain I Would she be 
able to sleep without the noise of street cars rat- 
tling by! 

But she slept well and was up early for a walk 
on the hills and to the graves. The trees were 
growing well, though the grass was nearly gone. 
Her mother's headstone needed cleaning. She 
would attend to that soon. Old Thunder was 
rough and element-scarred, but he had a warm 
heart for soul-sick people. 

The next letter Julia received from her father 
was forwarded from Salt Lake City. It told of 
his release. He would be home in a month. A 
month now seemed a long time to wait. He 
would surely call at Salt Lake first, where she 
could meet him; but there was no hurry to leave. 
School did not begin for two weeks, and she 
might as well enjoy herself in the open until 
then. On her pony she rode to the neighbors, vis- 



214 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

ited with them and proved to them that a year in 
the city had not spoiled her for her country 
friends. Her light heart and laughter came back. 
The boys hovered around, and there was a party 
or two at which Julia was the honored guest. 

"Well, Julia, when are you coming back to 
teach our school?'' asked Brother Sanders when 
she was visiting with them. 

**I don't know; not for a long time. I have 
just found out how little I know, and I'll have to 
go to school a good many years myself first." 

*'Yes; that's the way with the young folks 
nowadays. When they get a taste o* education, 
they're in for the hull thing. Well, I reckon I 
don't blame ye if ye can get it/* 

*'How did your school get along last year?'* she 
asked. 

**0h, fair, considerin'. The teacher wasn't 
over strong in government, but we got through. 
We haven't got a teacher yet f er next year. You'd 
better come, Julia." 

'*Why, Brother Sanders, I would teach the 
children how to read without first drilling them 
on the alphabet, and I would likely make some 
more mud pies." 

"Now, look here— tain* t no fair makin* fun like 
that. I'm an ignorant man— don't know much 
about book leamin' — but that little girl of mine 
that you started to read can beat the older ones 
already. The superintendent explained it all to 
me afterwards." 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 215 

But Julia would not pi-omise to teach their 
school, even though Brother Sanders held out the 
inducements of a raise in salary and a greatly 
improved school house, with permission to make 
mod pies. 

One day, about a week after her arrival, Julia 
was returning: from a visit to Rock Creek. She 
galloped slowly along the lower road towards 
Piney Ridge, walked her pony around the point 
of the mountain and then down the side hill into 
the dry ravine, from which she would climb the 
dugway. Suddenly, on the still afternoon air, 
coming up the road from below, she heard 
strange noises. She reined in her horse to listen- 
They sounded like a rattling wagon and run- 
ning horses and screams and cries piercing the 
air. A cloud of dust came into sight down the 
road, and presently she could diseema team gal- 
loping towards her at break-neck speed, the 
wagon plunging after. She pulled her horse out 
of the road and watched. The driver— whom 
Julia saw was the mail earriei^— had lost the lines 
which were flying about the horses. He was 
clinging to the front endgate, shouting in crazy, 
drunken commands to the frightened team. 
Crouching in the wagon and icrasping the bounc- 
ing sides was a woman. Her hair, thin and gray, 
had come down, and was flying aboi; 
of death was in her face. Julia gav 
tary scream as the runaway horses 
following the road up the dugway! 



216 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

What could she do? The mail driver and his 
passenger would surely be killed! Julia imag- 
ined the woman looked with mute, pleading eyes 
at her as she was rushed past to apparent death. 
There they were on the dugway I If the horses 
would only keep the road they might slow down 
before they reached the top, so that they could 
be caught. Julia urged her horse after 
the flying team. The wagon striking stumps 
and rocks would bound into the air, then 
sway from side to side. The driver still shouted 
"Whoa, whoa!" but the woman's screams had 
ceased. 

Up, up the horses plunged with very little 
decreasing speed. Julia was now close behind. 
Should she try to reach the horses to check 
themt If she interfered they might swerve 
either up the side hill or down the bank. Either 
way would be disastrous. 

Then a terrible thing happened. The reach of 
the wagon broke. The hind wheels became 
detached and let the rear of the wagon-box down 
to the ground with a bang, throwing the clinging 
woman into the road, where she lay motionless. 
The running horses and the shouting teamster 
clinging to the wagon-box disappeared over the 
hill. On the top they became entangled in a 
fence, and were eventually stopped. 

Julia hurriedly dismounted and bent over the 
woman, lifting her head into her arm. She 
felt the pulse beating faintly, so she was assured 






PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 217 

the woman was not dead. Julia brushed back 
the hair from the death-like face. "Are you 
hurt? Can you speak! Can you hear me?'' asked 
the girl ; but there was no reply. The injured 
woman lay limp and still wherever she was 
placed. 

What could be done! Could Julia carry her to 
the house? She might die out there in the road 
before help could come! Then she heard the 
mail driver coming back. He limped painfully 
and was covered with dust. 

Is she dead!" he asked hoarsely. 
'No ; I think not. If we could only get her to 
our house. It isn't far. You will have to help 
me.'' 

He was sober enough now. Staring into eter- 
nity for ten minutes ought to sober any man. He 
knelt down and listened for the heart beat. * *No ; 
she isn't dead. Thank God/* he said. 

He found a piece of canvas in the road and on 
this they laid the woman. Then half carrying 
and half dragging they advanced up the hill. 
Now and then the woman moaned, at which they 
would stop to rest. At the top of the hill the 
man lifted her bodily and carried her in his 
arms. **She is not heavy. Lead the way," he 
said. 

The woman was placed on a bed, and Sister 
Ross and Julia unloosed her clothing. They 
found no bad bruises. They bathed her face with 
cool water in hopes of reviving her, but she lay 



218 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

unconscious i a faint moan now and then escap- 
ing her lips. 

"Where is the nearest doctor?'^ asked the mail 
carrier. At Croft; but perhaps he ought to go to 
one of the neighbors for help first. Mrs. Sims, 
around the point of thjB mountain, was a good 
woman in sickness. Mr. Boss, who had come in 
from the yard, hurriedly hitched a horse to a 
buggy and the mail driver was oflE. 

Meanwhile,the young and inexperienced women 
did what they thought best. They took the 
woman's clothes oflE, sponged away the mud and 
dust, and then waited. When Mrs. Sims arrived 
she could not do much more. She said that, 
perhaps the woman was injured inwardly. She 
tried to revive her, but without avail. 

The mail carrier hitched up his nmaway horses 
to another wagon and was off to Croft. It would 
be next morning, very likely, before a doctor 
could be had, but that was the best they could do. 

Mr. Ross went back on the road and picked up 
the woman's satchel and hand bag which he 
brought to the house. They examined hurriedly 
the contents, but they found no clew as to the 
woman's name. The driver had said she was 
going to Piney Ridge Cottage, but she had said 
no more. She had been very quiet, he said, but 
he neglected to tell that he himself had enlivened 
the way by much talk and drinking. 

The night came on. Mrs. Sims went home, as 
she could do no more. '* We'll watch her care- 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 219 

fully, and do all we can for her," said Julia. The 
lamp was lighted and shaded, shining dimly on 
the thin, pale face restinsr on the pillow. Who 
was this woman, and what could she want at 
Piney Ridge Cottege? they asked each other. 

"The driver was drunk and did not hear her 
directions aright," suggested Mrs. Ross. 

"No;" said her husband, "he wouldn't be 
drunk when he started, and then is when she 
would tell him her destination." 

"Well, poor soul," said Julia, "if this is where 
she wished to come, here she is." 

With cooling water Julia bathed the face, 
pressing the moisture gently to the parched lips. 
What a dear, sweet face she had, though there 
were deep lines of care marked on it. Tea, the 
heart was still beating, stronger it seemed. 

The evening passed. Julia told her friends to 
goto bed and rest; she would sit up. There was 
no need of more than one losing sleep. She would 
call them if there was any change for the worse, 
and at any rate early in the morning. 

The night passed slowly for the watcher. With 
open window the howling coyotes could plainly 
be heard. These had never disturbed her, but 
that night their yelping was dismal. Then Julia 
tried to read, but that was a failure. Most of the 
time she sat by the bed touchu 
coolness the face and hands of the 
and wondering how it would turn 

Sometinie after midnight the 



220 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

towards the light and opened her eyes. Julia 
saw it and went hastily to the bed. 

** Who— who are you?" asked the woman feebly. 
Where am I?'* 

*'You are in the house of friends," said Julia. 
**Lie still. Will you have a drink?'' 

Julia fed her cool water with a spoon. * 'There, 
do you feel better? You had a bad fall, but you 
are better now." 

'*Yes;'' she said, "better.'' The small hand 
pushed back her hair from her forehead as if she 
wished to clear her brain. The open eyes fol- 
lowed Julia even when she left the bedside. 
The patient wanted to raise her head, so Julia 
gently pushed the pillow up. 

"Who are you?" she again asked. *'I know 
you— you are just like Agnes. You are Agnes." 

"No; my name is Julia," said the girl. "It 
isn't Agnes. But you hadn't better talk. Just 
lie still and rest. When you are stronger, you 
may tell me all about it." 

She closed her eyes again, her hands holding 
Julia's in a firm grasp. For fifteen or twenty 
minutes they remained thus, then the woman 
opened her eyes again. She looked at Julia and 
smiled faintly. 

Are you Julia Elston?" she asked. 
Yes," said the sui-prised gu-1. 
And you are Chester's girl. Do you know 
where Chester is? I came to find him." 

Julia in her astonishment arose and stood as 






PINEF RIDGE COTTAGE 



in a spell. "Are you Chester's mothert" she 
asked. 

"Yes; I want to find him— he basn't written 
since he last left us. He said he was going to 
Europe, but I thought he came here to you — " 
she dropped off again. Julia knelt by the bed, 
felt the hands, and stroked the face. This was 
Chester's mother, her mother's old-time friend, 
her father's one-time wife! • • * She was 
sleeping now, and Julia still kneeled by the bed- 
side and prayed both silently and vocally that 
the Lord would spare her life "for a purpose, O, 
Lord, Thou hast brought her here. Now spare 
her life, that we may win her back by our love. 
O Father, let her not die in darkness, unrepent- 
ant. I, Agnes Winston's daughter, wtuit to do 
something for this woman that my dear mother 
was not permitted to do. O Father, let me— 
help me, I pray Thee in the name of Jesus. 
Amen." 

In the gray morning Mrs. Ross found them 
both asleep, Julia with her head on the sick 
woman's pillow, and their hands clasped in each 
others. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

When the doctor arrived from Croft just before 
noon, he found the injured woman resting as 
well as could be expected. He pronounced her 
out of immediate danger, but as she had received 
some internal injuries, he could not say what the 
result would eventually be. Julia explained to 
the doctor and Mr. and Mrs. Ross that the 
woman was an acquaintance of her father's from 
the East in search of a son. That is all she told, 
and Mrs. Lawrence said no more herself. The 
doctor left in the middle of the afternoon. 

Julia now became a nurse, carrying out the 
doctor's instructions carefully. Knowing more 
fully who her patient was, she put her whole soul 
into her work. The poor woman had received a 
terrible shaking up. She may never walk again, 
so the doctor had told Julia. She was in search 
of Chester, but she might never find him. He 
was out of reach, it being possible that he was on 
the other side of the earth. Not a word had been 
heard of him for months. 

Julia rested a little during the afternoon that 
she might be with the sick woman at night. 
The wild night noises might disturb her. 
The woman obtained some relief from pain to- 
wards evening and as her mind was clearer, she 



PINET RIDGE COTTAGE 223 

would talk to Julia and ply her with questions. 
Julia answered what she thought wise, urging 
her to remain as quiet as possible, and assuring 
her tliat she was not an intruder, but a welcome 
guest, and would be taken care of. Julia evaded 
questions regarding her relationship with Chester. 

In a few days, when Mrs. Lawrence became 
fully aware that she was in the home of her 
former husband and being nursed by a child of 
Agnes Winston, she could hardly content her- 
self to remain quietly in her bed. That she 
should come to this— to be forced to be an object 
of their charity was more than she could stand to 
think about. Julia was kindness and gentleness 
itself, and the woman's eyes could not remain 
oS the 8^rl as she moved about the room, for it 
seemed to her that here was Agnes Winston as 
she looked and acted when she had first known 
her at Altone. Yet she knew that Agnes had 
been dead for years. At times when her brain 
was not quite clear the mystery puzzled her 
much. 

Then the woman asked Julia about her father. 
She appeared pleased to know that he would not 
be home for three weeks yet. 

"I'll be well enough to get away by then," 
she said. 1 am sure he would be disnleftRAd t^ 
come home and find me here." 

"I don't think so, mother," repli* 
had b^run to call Mrs. Lawrence 
patient did not object. In fact h< 



224 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

with pleasure, when Julia thus addressed her. 
**Father will be grieved to see you here in your 
present condition. I am sure he would rather 
have you here well and strong— which I hope you 
will get after a while.'' 

This was a week after the accident. Mrs. 
Lawrence could not sit up, but she rested easily 
on her pillows and was strong enough to talk. 
The afternoon sun came through the window and 
lay as a bar of yellow gold across the room. The 
soft mellowness of the Indian summer crept into 
Piney Ridge Cottage, crept also into the heart of 
a suffering woman. 

Julia sat by the bed as Mrs. Lawrence liked to 
have her do. They had talked of Chester and 
Julia had told her more of him. 

*'Yes,'' said the mother, "Chester is a good 
boy. He is an improvement on his parents ; but 
that is as it should be." 

*'I suppose I am a failure then," said Julia, 
"as I am sure I am not as good as my father and 
mother." 

"Don't say that. You are not the judge. I 
think you are better than they — that is when 
they were your age, and that is the only correct 
way to look at it." 

Julia protested gently, but did not argue the 
case. It was time for her patient's afternoon 
tea, so she busied herself with its making. She 
had had to learn that, too. Tea had never before 
been within Piney Ridge Cottage, therefore Julia 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 225 

had never learned the worldly art of tea-making. 
But now Mrs. Lawrence pronounced it good. 

"Do you know, Julia," said the woman after 
the tea andtoaet had been disposed 'of— "do you 
know why you remind me so much of your 
mother!" 

"1 look like her, I have been told." 

"Yes, you do;lbut you act more like her. The 
way you carry your head, the way you smile and 
the very ring of your laugh is your mother's. 1 
remember that so distinctly. We, you know, 
were neighbors and we became great chums. 1 
was a few years older, but that made no differ- 
ence. We used to talk together for hours. • * 
Most everybody thought she didn't amount to 
much, as she was so quiet; but your mother was 
a brave girl, I tell you. Once when two 
tramps were helping themselves to melons in our 
garden, and insultingly destroying it, Agnes 
made believe she had a pistol and drove them 
away. Did your father ever tell you of thatt" 

"No, he never has." 

"Well, I could tell you many things about her. 
You do so bring me back to<those early days." 

The days passed with very little improvement 
in the injured woman. The doctor came every 
other day, but Swhen out of the sick room he 
shook his head. "Just take good care of her," 
he said; that is about all^e can do." 

Julia wrote the news to the folks in Salt Lak 

She said she could not leave Mrs. LawrenC' 



226 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

She would have to delay her school beginnini 
perhaps she would not be able to go at all. She 
was going to take care of the injured woman first. 
They were to tell her father when he came why 
she was not in Salt Lake. 

The days went Dy, growing shorter as the au- 
tumn advanced. Mr. and Mrs. Ross were busy 
with the harvesting, so that Julia was alone much 
of the time with her patient. As we grow to 
love those for whom we do good deeds, so Julia 
became attached to this woman who had so 
strangely come to be her care. And that Chester 
Lawrence's mother, her father's former wife, 
should thus come into her life was indeed 
strange. Julia had often longed for a mother's 
love, and now who was closer to her than Anna 
Lawrence? On whom else could she bestow her 
pent up love of mother I 

And Anna Lawrence could not help but feel 
the warm rays of this'girPs love. It penetrated 
her hardened, self-chilled heart, and loosened 
some of the obstinate purposes which she had 
set in her life. Sometimes Julia would find her 
with face to the wall to hide the tears. Then she 
would put her arms around the sorrowing 
woman, say nothing, but press her gently and 
stroke the gray head. 

Julia," said she one day, when they were alone, 

I believe the doctor thinks I shall not get 
well." 

Of course you'll get well, my dear mother." 



it 
ti 

'I 

it/ 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 2:^7 

**I wouldn't care so much if I could see Ches- 
ter first. I'd just as leave die here as not, for you 
love me, I am sure, and I have so very few that 
really love me — very few. * * * Come here, 
my girl, I want to tell you something. ♦ ♦ * 
Be faithful to your father and your religion; that 
is true. I have known it aU the time-I have 
been away. The testimony of its truth would 
never leave me though I tried hard to make it 
do so. I am so glad that Chester has found out 
the truth. * * Tell him so from me, if I do not 
get to see him; and tell him to be true to his 
religion, though all else should fail him. * * 
If I am to die, I wish I might do so before your 
father comes— and yet I should like his forgive- 
ness before I go.'' 

Julia could not repress her tears, as she tried 
to reassure the sick woman that all would yet be 
well with her. 

"If you have done wrong," said the girl, 
"father will be the fibrst to forgive— yes, I know.'* 
He forgave me once — he might asrain." 

Tes; until seventy times seven," replied 
Julia. "And the Heavenly Father is good and 
kind and forgiving.*' 

Day by day the woman became weaker. In a 
day or two Hugh Elston was expected home, and 
he would have to hurry to find Anna Lawrence 
alive. Everybody about Piney Ridge Cottage 
moved without noise. The doctor came no 
more. Julia became weak by long hours of 






228 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

watching, but she would not give up her post to 
kindly neighbors. The nights became cool. Soon 
Old Thunder dressed himself in his robes of state, 
in rich vestments of yellow and red. Snow fell 
on his hoary head among the groves of dark 
pines. At night Julia had to close the window 
to keep out the cold and the noises of the 
coyotes. 

The father's coming was delayed. Julia re- 
ceived a card from him stating that he had been 
hindered, but within a week he would surely be 
home. The days dragged by. The woman's 
life seemed to flicker up and down like a flame. 
"Will Chester never come?" she whispered; but 
there was no word from him. 

Hugh Elston rode out to Piney Ridge Cottage 
with the mail carrier who had, partly at least, 
been responsible for the accident. The return- 
ing missionary had heard the news at Salt Lake, 
but the driver gave him details. He drew near 
his home with peculiar feelings. What joy to 
get back to the wild,open country, to his home of 
freedom among the mountains ! The driver went 
out of his way that he might set his passenger 
down in the dooryard. He could see that Mr. 
Elston wag an elderly man, not too strong, and 
he had a heiavy grip. 

Julia flew to her father, while he was yet in the 
yard. She saw he had aged considerably. Arm 
in arm they entered the house. 

"She is still alive,*' explained Julia, "but 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 229 

it appears to me that she miprht die any minute. 
I'll peep at her. * * She seems to be asleep. 
If she could only see Chester — and you, she said 
this afternoon she would be ready." 

"Does she want to see me?" asked the father. 

*'She didn't at first— she was afraid she would 
not get well before you came ; but now she has 
changed— she wants to see you." 

"I will wash the dust oflE, then I will go in." 

It was in the dusk of evening when Julia went 
back to her post at the bedside. Mrs. Lawrence 
was conscious and spoke to her. 

*'Light the lamp," she whispered. "It is 
dark." 

Julia lighted the lamp and turned down the 
wick. 

"Turn it up," said the woman, "I want to see 
him when he comes in." 

"Who, mother?" 

"Your father." 

"Yes; he has come. Do you want to see him 
now?" 

"Yes." 

The door was pushed softly open, and 
Mr. Elston entered. He went to the bed. 
The dying woman lay on her back with 
arms outside the coverlet. Her eyes were open 
wide, and there was a faint smile on her lips. 
The father kneeled by the bedside, took the 
emaciated hands, and looked into the sunken 
face. "Anna," he said. 



230 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

Then the woman slowly raised her arm and 
let it fall over his neck as if to draw him close so 
that she could talk to him. He leaned over, 
kissed her on the cheek, and then their heads 
were close together. "Hugh, Hugh, I am so 
glad!" Julia heard her say, and then she tiptoed 
softly from the room. 

Anna Lawrence lingered until the evening of 
the next day, and then she passed away. Death 
had once more come to Piney Eidge Cottage, and 
to father and daughter it reawakened sad mem- 
ories. Agnes and Anna were now in the Spirit 
world. Had they met there and renewed their 
friendship? Hugh Elston found pleasure in the 
thought that they had. As for Anna, how 
strange that she should come to him for the end ! 
Buffeted about for years on the ocean of storms, 
she had at last come back to a safe harbor and 
found a degree of peace and rest. 

A telegram was sent to Chester, to his Chicago 
address. Mr. Elston told Julia that he had 
stopped off in Chicago to find if possible, Anna 
Lawrence, and to call on her. His former wife, 
of course, he had not seen, but he had met Ches- 
ter and had had a pleasant visit with him. 

The day passed with no reply from Chester; 
the second day also, and then word came that 
Chester could not be found ; arrangements were 
therefore made for the funeral. Another grave 
was prepared in the enclosure out in the sage- 



PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 231 

brush near Piney Ridge Cottage. On the third 
day services were held in the house. Marcie and 
Rose Borden and Will Summerville came to the 
funeral. The neighbors came to pay their respects 
to the strange departed, knowing she was in some 
way connected with Hugh Elston. 

The visitors from Salt Lake remained a day 
after the funeral, inspecting with deep interest 
Piney Ridge and its cottage, of which they had 
heard so much. Julia, seconded by her father, 
urged them to remain longer. They would 
climb Old Thunder, Julia said, if they would 
stay, and even visit Chester Lawrence's gold 
mine; but the city people were bound by city 
business, and had to return to their daily round 
of work. Next summer, the girls said, they 
would surely spend their vacation with Julia in 
her ''Country Villa.'' 

And Brother Summerville, too,** added Julia. 

Yes," replied Rose, "Brother and Sister 
Summerville will come to see that their harum 
scarum sister Rose keeps out of mischief.'' 

This talk took place out by the wagon, just as 
they were ready to drive oflE to Croft. 

Yes; that's all right," said Mr. Elston, 
you're all welcome. I want you to come 
and get acquainted with the beauties of Piney 
Ridge Cottage." 

"We surely shall," the three shouted as they 
drove oflE. 









232 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 

The evening was very quiet in and around 
Piney Ridge Cottage. Mr. and Mrs. Ross were 
away for the night, and Julia and her father had 
the house to themselves. As the evening was 
cold, a cheerful fire of cedar sticks burned in the 
grate. The two had supped royally on bread and 
milk, and they were now sitting before the fire, 
Julia on a low stool near her father's big chair. 

"Yes, Julia," he was saying, "I am so glad you 
did what you could for her, and that you served 
her from pure love. She realized that, and told 
me of it." 

Father, it was a pleasure to do it." 
Yes— and now you have missed your school 
again. You want to go back, don't you?" 
I should like to. I fairly srot started." 
Well, my girl, this is what I have been think- 
ing we would do: Mr. and Mrs. Ross will remain 
here until spring, and we two will go to Salt 
Lake, you to continue your schooling and I to 
work in the Temple. While in England I found 
a lot of names that belonged to our family, and 1 
can do nothing better than to spend this winter 
in doing work for them." 

"Oh, father, that will be fine; for then we can 
be together. We are lonesome when apart, are 
we not?" 

"Yes; we are all we have now," said he as he 
stroked the head leaning against his knee. 
"Julia," he said after a pause, "I want to tell you 
of my visit with Chester Lawrence in Chicago. 



a- 






PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 233 

*'You ought to know how he feels and what he 
said to me." 

*'Yes." 

"I thought I ought to try to find his mother. I 
had some difficulty in finding where she lived, 
and this delayed me. At last I learned that Anna 
had been living a somewhat isolated life, spend- 
ing her time between a lonely Chicago home and 
some relatives up in Michigan. I did not find 
her at home. Some of her neighbors told me she 
frequently spent weeks away from the house, 
and I supposed she was with her Michigan peo- 
ple. However, something drew me back to the 
house the next day, and there I found Chester. 
He had been roamine: about the country since he 
left Salt Lake, and he, too, not finding his 
mother at home, thought she was with her 
friends." 

'He must have been disappointed.'' 
1 suppose so, but he did not show it. He 
seemed veiy much pleased to see me, and he 
treated me very kindly. In his room that even- 
ing he told me his story-and it was past mid- 
night before we went to bed." 

The father again stroked lovingly his daugh- 
ter's head. She was silent, looking steadily into 
the fire. 

* 'Julia," he continued, "Chester has no hard 
feelings against you. He told me to tell you 
that. He said you had a perfect right to answer 
him the way you did, if your heart could not 






234 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 

accompany your hand. Your refusal was a ter- 
rible trial to him, and it nearly upset him, but he 
is in his right mind again, and I think he will 
prove himself to be the right kind of stuff. He 
told me he had wiitten you a letter, but he had 
carried it around for days, hesitating whether or 
not to mail it. He found me before he did so, 
asked me to read it and bring it to you, if I saw 
fit. Here it is." He handed Julia the letter. 
She took it from the unsealed envelope and read 
it by the light of the fire. 

Dear Sister Julia : 

After some weeks of wandering about the 
country, 1 now feel capable of sending you a few 
lines to tell you that I am alive and well and still 
true to the faith. Even though you could not 
grant me the greatest wish of my heart, I must be 
satisfied with what you have done for me — and I 
now see that through you the Lord has been 
exceedingly kind to me. It was you who first 
called my attention to the restored Gospel with 
its wonderful possibilities ; it was you who turned 
my life from blind prejudice to one of ever 
increasing light and love. Through you the 
broken link is again welded. I am my mother's 
only child and I shall try co close the breach that 
she, by her mistake, made. God bless you and 
your dear father. Remember me to all the good 

Feople in the ward. I have the roving spirit, and 
do not know where it will lead me, but this I 
feel assured, that the good angel of life in the 
form of the High Ideals which Julia Elston has 
given to me, shall always and ever direct my 
steps aright. 

Sincerely yours, 

Chester Lawrence. 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 235 

The letter dropped to the reader's lap, and 
there was silence for some time. Then Julia said: 

**Father, what am I — what have I done that 
Chester should say such things to me?" 

*'My girl, the little things of life, the simple, 
every day duties often become the great moving 
forces of the world. This is merely an incident in 
proof. I am very,very glad for what Chester said 
because it is the truth; and his joy will increase 
when he learns how his mother felt during her 
last days, and what you, my girl, did for her." 

Julia got up from her seat, stirred the fire, and 
placed on it some more wood. Then she seated 
herself on the arm of her father's big chair. "Do 
you wish to read, father?" she asked. "Shall I 
light the lamp!" 

"No; I just want to talk to you this evening. 
* * When did you last hear from Glenf " 

"I got a letter from him just before you came, 
wheiein he told me of his visit to London and his 
meeting with you." 

"Yes; we had a fine conference— and Glen is 
making a splendid missionary. He told me of 
his experience in Holland, and he asked me, 
Julia, in his timid way, of you. He said you had 
not written to him.'' 

"Father, I am ashamed of myself; but I 
haven't been in a frame of mind to write lately. 
He'll never forgive me." Then Julia told of 
Glen's visit to Salt Lake, just before leaving for 
his mission, and how he had missed her. 



236 PINEY KIDaE COTTAGE 

"Glen is a sensitive boy," said the father. He 
would never go where he supposed he was intrud- 
ing, even if it broke his heart to remain away. I 
talked to him freely of you, as it seemed to do 
him good. * * * Did he never tell you that 
he loved you f" 

Julia told what happened at her father's fare- 
well party. They lapsed into silence again. 

"How long do you want to go to school?" asked 
the father. 

"Two or three years, and maybe longer." 

"And then?" 

"Then I want to come back to Piney Eidge 
Cottage and live with you." 

"Well, Julia, you shall live here with me as 
long as you wish, and Piney Ridge Cottage shall 
be yours when I am gone. Live here in God's 
great open country. Bring to you as many as 
possible of the comforts of the city; and then 
with cultured heart and soul, and trained mind 
wherewith to lay hold of nature in its wildness 
and beauty, you may live as nearly the perfect 
human life as is possible — you and your husband 
and your children." 

"Father!'' 

"Yes, my girl, I am sure you will have both 
husband and children." His hands were once 
more on the shapely head— the hands of a patri- 
arch giving a father's blessing. "You have fol- 
lowed the light, and that light will still illume 



PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 237 

your way, make your path clear. * * * Your 
children's children will call you blessed." 

''Father!" 

"Yes, my girl.'' 

"May I tell youf Recently it has been so 
strange, and especially since I got that letter 
from Glen. * * * *i believe that the Lord has 
released from His keeping the love of my heart. 
* * * Oh, father, I cannot describe my feeling, 
my happy feeling. The light is clear and beauti- 
ful, free from shadows." 

Yes, dear, and in what direction does it lief' 
Out across the ocean to a land of shining 
canals and slow-moving windmills. There is light 
everywhere there, when I think of Glen, and — 
and he stands out in it so good and true and 
strong that—" 

She slipped from the arm of the chair on which 
she had been sitting,and her father clasped her in 
his arms. She nestled close to him as if to hide 
her trembling confusion. He patted her cheek, 
now rosy red, stroked her hair— and smiled. The 
glow of the fire fell on father and daughter as 
they sat enwrapped in each other's love and 
confidence. 

The End. 



Hi 



■f. 'fl- '■ c 



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